Leeds United: Cellino 'bans' himself from Elland Road

Massimo Cellino
Massimo Cellino
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Massimo Cellino will no longer attend Leeds United’s matches after the Elland Road crowd turned on him during last week’s 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

In another indication that his time as owner is drawing to a close, Cellino said he was “hurt” by criticism aimed at him and questioned whether he was “the best person for this job” amid mounting pressure on him to relinquish his majority stake in Leeds.

Cellino offered to sell his shares to supporters group Leeds Fans United last Friday, 24 hours after a crowd of 19,000 subjected him to chants of “time to go, Massimo” and “sell the club and f*** off home” as Leeds slipped to a 2-0 loss against Blackburn.

The 59-year-old, who bought Leeds in April 2014 and has endured a torrid 18-month spell as owner, left Elland Road before full-time and made his offer to Leeds Fans United the following afternoon.

He will not be present at tomorrow’s meeting with Cardiff City.

In a statement published on United’s official website, Cellino said: “It pains me to make this decision as I have put my heart and soul into this club.

“But what I was subjected to at the Blackburn game left me feeling like I had no other option but to take a step away.

“After the time, effort and emotion I have given to the club to try and enable us to move forward, it hurt me a lot to hear the fans singing what they did on Thursday night.

“The fans made it clear they believe I am no longer the best person for this job, and for the first time I am starting to think that they may be correct.”