Massimo Cellino
Cellino faces being removed as owner of Leeds Getty Images

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is confident of retaining control of the West Yorkshire club despite being ordered to relinquish his operation at Elland Road after failing The Football League's Owners' and Directors' test.

Cellino must resign from the board and offload influence at the club after being found to have breached the league's regulations following the consultation of the full judgment behind the tax evasion conviction handed down to the Italian businessman in March.

The 58-year-old however plans to appeal against the judgment which would see him lose his post as Leeds owner and says he is confident of having the ruling overturned.

"I'm going to show them they are wrong," he said. "I'm sure the lawyers of the League have not done a proper job.

"I'm not dishonest. I'm not guilty yet, that's it. If I'm going to have to buy a ticket to watch the game I will do it."

The ex-Cagliari owner added to Sky Sports News: "My goal for this club is to break even. It is a good club. We saved the club - no administration. We saved the club in a good way. It's a healthy club and it's not been like that for years.

"Between [training ground] Thorp Arch and Elland Road the club is paying £2.7m in rent a year and that's wasting money. We could be spending it on something important like investing in players. It's something that belongs to Leeds.

"Unfortunately this club has sold everything; we have to buy back our jewellery. I've only been here six months, give me another six months. The fans give me a lot of power and we hope to sort out the problem."

Leeds supporters face an anxious wait to learn whether Cellino, who has helped clear the club's substantial debt since taking over in April and invested in a first team squad which is 15<sup>th in the Championship, will be permitted to remain as owner.

"He has done more for Leeds United in seven or eight months than previous owners did in 12 years," said Leeds United Supporters' Trust chairman Paul Keats . "We have suffered more than other fans at the hands of ruthless and difficult owners. Under Cellino, progress has been fantastic.

"Leeds need consistency, whether it is Mr Cellino or someone else putting money in the club. Success is derived from stability and it is something we've not had in 12 years. If we have it, success will return.

"It has maybe not been reflected in our league position, but the marvellous victory over top-of-the-table Derby County on Saturday shows that there has been investment on the pitch and also made in the club. Cellino has done a fantastic job."