Cellino

Convicted fraudster linked in Leeds United transfer furore

Earlier this week the FA issued a charge against Leeds United and their owner Massimo Cellino over irregularities in the transfer of Scotland forward Ross McCormack.

It is alleged that Cellino authorised payment to Barry Hughes, a person representing McCormack, but who wasn’t a registered agent – he was to be paid through agent Derek Day.

The wording of the charge said: “Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino and authorised agent Derek Day have also been charged for breaching FA Rules and The FA’s Football Agent Regulations respectively, in relation to the same matter.”

The Daily Record report that Hughes, acted as an advisor to McCormack and later demanded that Leeds United pay him £250,000 for “his role in the transfer.” They go on to allege that Hughes met Cellino at Elland Road and that an agreement was allegedly arranged between the two parties for Hughes to be paid through his business concern called Shadow Brands.

According to the Daily Record, Derek Day was to be paid £185,000 through three payments; the initial £65,000 went through the FA Clearing house in September 2014 with further payments of £60,000 due for November 2014 and February 2015.

Boxing promoter Hughes, who was declared bankrupt in December 2014 with tax debts totalling around £9m and failing to agree an adequate plan with tax authorities, was convicted of fraud and money laundering and sentenced to a 43-month prison term. This was overturned after appeal court judges rules that the sentence was too harsh, instead a £45,000 fine was set against him.

With Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino facing an Italian trial where similarly serious charges are to be levied against him, he can do without both this FA charge and the associations that come with it.

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