Leeds United does not believe that the club president, Massimo Cellino broke any of the Football Association rules after his name was mentioned in a report investigating corruption in British football.
The film footage recorded by undercover reporters for The Daily Telegraph allegedly shows Cellino discussing the prospective sale of a 20% share in the club to a fake Far East firm, in return for profits on player transfers.
Third-party ownership of players is banned under FA and FIFA regulations, but Leeds have described the allegations against the president as “a non-story”.
The statement read: “Leeds United and MrCellino were contacted yesterday (Wednesday September 28) by The Daily Telegraph in relation to their investigation in football, which has involved undercover reporters purporting to represent an investment and sports management company.
“The Daily Telegraph informed Leeds United and MrCellino that they were considering publishing an article and asked Leeds United and MrCellino to respond to a number of questions. Through the club’s solicitors, a request was made to The Daily Telegraph for a full copy of any transcript involving MrCellino and/or any related audio and visual recordings.
“The Daily Telegraph refused to provide such information and as such the club declined to respond further at the time. The club has reviewed the supposed ‘evidence’ that The Daily Telegraph have published. At no time in this video clip has MrCellino suggested getting around the FA’s rules on third-party ownership of players.
“In complete contrast to what has been suggested, MrCellino has made a perfectly proper suggestion which is entirely consistent with the FA’s regulations, as the only parties entitled to take benefit from ownership of a player is the club itself.”
The allegations broke out just 24 hours after the former England manager Sam Allardyce and the FA mutually agreed that he would leave the England managerial job due to a similar report by the newspaper, in which the 61-year-old was recorded claiming he could offer guidance on how to “get round” transfer rules.