Elland Road
Cellino must wait 10 days to learn whether his takeover bid of Leeds has been successful.

The Football League will await the outcome of Massimo Cellino's tax evasion trial before passing the Italian's proposed takeover of Leeds United.

On Tuesday, Cellino faces charges of failing to pay import duty on a yacht and should he be found guilty faces a £1.165m fine and the prospect of not passing the league's "fit and proper" ownership test.

The 57 year old has two criminal convictions for fraud but his company Eleonora Sport Limited are expected to complete the purchase of 75% of the Elland Road club from GFH Capital should Cellino be cleared by the Italian courts.

Following a board meeting on Thursday, a Football League statement read: "The Board discussed the eligibility of the proposed purchasers under the Owners' and Directors' Test and examined evidence of both the source and sufficiency of funding.

"The majority of outstanding issues have now been resolved to The League's satisfaction and the Board anticipates receiving further information on the remaining issues, from the representatives of Eleonora, in the next week.

"The Board recognises the pressing need to resolve the matter and to provide certainty to all parties. It therefore anticipates being able to reach a conclusion in the next ten days."

The Football League's "fit and proper" owners test has been heavily screwtinised in the past and faces more criticism as to its value should Cellino be allowed to continue his bid to buy Leeds even found guilty next week.

Current owners GFH Capital announced a deal for Cellino's Eleonora Sport Limited to become the club's new majority owners has been agreed subject to league agreement in February, but the complexity of the deal means it is still to be ratified.

Cellino has however been funding Leeds in the expectancy of his ownership being accepted, assisting in the club's current debt and financing the loan signings of Jack Butland and Connor Wickham.

On the field, Leeds have gone five games without a win and have moved 11 points adrift of the play-offs and manager Brian McDermott has called for the uncertainty of the club's future to be resolved.

"We would love to get some stability at the club so we can move forward," said McDermott.

"Uncertainty over the future ownership has been dragging on for such a long time that there is apprehension around the place and the main conversation is about the ownership.

"I know it is a results business but we have had no stability here for a long time. Obviously it would help if the manager knew who the owner was going to be."