The Football Association has banned Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino from football for 18 months and issued him with a fine of £250,000 for a breach of rules relating to the club’s sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham two years ago.
The Italian has been reprimanded following a 12-month investigation into the transfer of the striker for an £11m fee with add-ons in July 2014.
Cellino, whose ban will come into effect on February 1 next year, had previously denied allegations of any wrongdoing.
“I am surprised to read the news regarding the FA’s intentions to ban and fine me, as well as fine the club,” he said in a statement on the Leeds website yesterday.
“I am not guilty and I will take the right steps to defend myself through the tribunal. I feel that I am guilty of one thing – protecting Leeds United since I took charge of the club.”
Cellino is currently thought to be in negotiations to sell a 50% stake in the club to businessman Andrea Radrizzani.