Cellino uses three words to describe how he feels about running Leeds, claims he wants to quit

By Alex Stevens

Massimo Cellino has described himself as “tired”, “hurt” and “lonely” as he claimed he is ready to sell Leeds.

The controversial Italian owner says he is keen to bring down the curtain on his two-year reign despite the likelihood of his Football League ban being overturned.

Cellino reacted with dismay even though his authority appeared to have been strengthened in recent days.

Cellino, who bought a majority share in Leeds in 2014, has talked about selling his shares at various stages of a turbulent reign but his latest comments come less than 24 hours after the Football League announced that his pending 223-day suspensionwas set to be withdrawn.

The governing body imposed the suspension last October following Cellino’s conviction in a tax case in Italy.

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However, that conviction was quashed on appeal on Monday and the League said that it would cancel his ban once it received written confirmation of the verdict from Italy’s Court of Appeal.

“I’ve had enough,” Cellino told The Times. “It’s better to walk out, not because I’m dishonest but because I’m tired and hurt and lonely.

“Why did they disqualify me when they knew the truth? I don’t want to complain because I’m a foreigner but I’m lost. I have no happiness any more and don’t know if I have the enthusiasm for the next season.

“I’ve never been so confused. I’m nearly 60 and would never have expected that from Leeds. I’m ashamed to say it. If someone wants to buy the club I will sell it. If somebody doesn’t come in I have no choice but to run it.”

Cellino previously spoke about selling Leeds shortly after his Football League ban was first announced last October. He offered to make a deal with supporters group Leeds Fans United but reneged on that proposal within days, accusing LFU of telling “fairytales”.

Local business Steve Parkin was heavily linked with a buy-out before Christmas but he has not purchased any shares.

Cellino and his UK firm Eleonora Sport remain as majority shareholders with a stake in excess of 80 per cent. Former United owner Gulf Finance House controls the rest of the equity.

In other Leeds news, the club have been given a goalkeeper boost as a contract deadline looms.