Leeds United: Cellino son apologises over Nazi reference on social media

Massimo Cellino with son Edoardo (right)
Massimo Cellino with son Edoardo (right)

Leeds United director Ercole Cellino, the son of owner Massimo, has apologised after “causing offence” among some of the club’s fans with a Nazi reference he posted on Instagram.

Nine days after his brother and fellow club director Edoardo was suspended by the Football Association following offensive comments he made on social media, Ercole uploaded a photograph of himself alongside a caption including “#gestapo” and “#ss”.

The posts caused outrage among some fans, who also questioned the sincerity of the apology that followed.

Ercole said on his Instagram account (translated from Italian): “Obviously my hashtags are only jokes. It was not my intention to offend anyone. Look, I can be everything, but not anti-Semitic or racist.”

Leeds refused to comment on the incident.

The FA suspended Ercole’s brother Edoardo from all football-related activity for the club’s next three matches last week following comments he made on Facebook after getting involved in an abusive row with a supporter.

Edoardo’s charge included an ‘’aggravated breach’’ as his comments included a reference to disability, the FA said.

He subsequently apologised for his comments and denied the charge, but was handed a suspension, which started with immediate effect, following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

Edoardo was also fined £5,000, warned about to his future conduct, and must complete an education course within four months.

Fans group Time To Go Massimo, campaigning against the way the club is being run, said Ercole was not fit to be a club director.

“A TTGM statement read: “We are disappointed, yet sadly not surprised to once again see a member of the Cellino family and a director of the club bring Leeds United’s name into disrepute through his own ignorance.

“Any knowledge of the history of our club would tell him the post was at the least misguided, and disrespectful to those that once made this club great.

“This further cements the fact he is not fit to hold such a lofty position at Leeds United Football Club.”