Cellino casts doubt over his future with Leeds

Massimo Cellino has sold a minority share in Leeds United and revealed he will not return to the club when his Football League ban expires in April.

The Italian resigned as president in January after months of wrangling over a tax case in his homeland.

Cellino was banned for 79 days and was initially expected to resume his role immediately.

However, the former Cagliari owner will stay away from the club while he continues his fight to clear his name.

He said in an open letter to the club's fans: "I suggested that my intention was to resume in April the office of president of Leeds United after expiration of the disqualification term. 

"I will not do so and I had actually decided not to do so in January already, soon after the confirmation by the Football League of its verdict.

"After a due process, I have also sold – with a clear harm to my interests – a minority stake in the club, so that in no way I could be prevented from freely acting as an independent citizen and individual before any authority."

Leeds chairman Andrew Umbers added: "Massimo Cellino is taking this independent action so that LUFC is seen to be fully compliant with the Football League Rules and thus help the football club avoid any sanctions. 

"LUFC are optimistic as to the outcome of the Disciplinary Panel Hearing and of the Rule K Hearing."