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Leeds need investment now says Cellino

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Massimo Cellino is to appeal against the Football League's decision to bar him from taking over Leeds United, insisting that he is not a crook.   However, he says that Leeds need investment now. 

He has already loaned £6m to the club who are believed to face a cash flow crisis.   Players' wages are due this week and owners GFH Capital have not put any money into the club since before Christmas.

There must be concerns that the club will go into administration.   However, the representative of Leeds United Supporters' Trust interviewed on television yesterday evening insisted that supporters would stick by the club through thick and thin.

It is the first time a prospective owner has been disqualified since what was originally known as the fit and proper persons test was established in 2003.  It is possible that Mr Cellino may choose to test the legal soundness of the test through the courts.

GFH has accused rival bidders of undermining the sale of the club.  A domestic consortium is waiting in the wings, although GFH has broken off talks with them.  It includes Andrew Flowers, director of Enterprise Insurance, the club's shirt sponsor; Adam Pearson, former Hull City chairman; and Mike Farnan, Sunderland's former marketing director.   They are thought to have around £50m at their disposal.

It has been mostly thin for the last ten years or so.   Indeed, I cannot think of a club that has such a prolonged crisis leading it to punch well below its weight.   A club from a prosperous regional capital like Leeds should be able to secure a place in the Premier League, but mismanagement by a series of owners has denied them their opportunity.