Italian businessman Massimo Cellino has officially completed his takeover of English second-tier side Leeds United.
“Massimo Cellino has now been appointed a director of LUFC Holdings & ESL (Eleonora Sport Limited) has completed its purchase of 75 per cent of the shares of LUFC Holdings,” Cellino’s legal representatives Mishcon de Reya wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
Cellino, 57, will now take up a place on the Leeds board, two months after his Miami-based company ESL first agreed a deal to purchase 75 per cent of the club’s shares.
The tycoon, who also owns Italian Serie A club Cagliari, was initially barred from purchasing the club by the Football League due to his conviction for a tax offence in a court in Sardinia last month.
The offence related to the non-payment of import duties on his yacht and resulted in a fine of 600,000 euros ($A895,000) and the confiscation of the boat.
Cellino’s lawyers argued that because he had appealed against his tax conviction – a process that could take nine months – he was considered not guilty under Italian law.
His appeal against the Football League’s decision to block his purchase of Leeds was subsequently upheld by an independent QC, paving the way for him to complete his acquisition of the Championship club.
Leeds are three-time English champions, but they have not played in the Premier League since being relegated in 2004 after overspending in the pursuit of regular Champions League qualification.
Ongoing financial mismanagement contributed to the club plunging into the third tier in 2007 after going into administration, but they returned to the Championship in 2010.