By Alex Stevens

A prominent Italian journalist has accused Leeds owner Massimo Cellino of using mafia-style tactics to protect himself from criticism.

Sardinian football reporter and broadcaster Bruno Corda spoken out of Cellino’s conduct in an interview about his 40-year journalism career.

Corda explained how how the antics of the controversial Elland Road co-owner was the most negative aspect of covering the sport in the last four decades.

He grew to know Cellino well during his 20-year ownership of Italian club Cagliari and Corda explained that it was the only time he felt his work was interfered with.

In a damning appraisal of the 60-year-old’s methods, Corda told Italian outlet Sardegna Live: “My biggest regret was when I had to interrupt my work, not for reasons caused by the job, but by a kind of ‘mafia’ which had entered the world of football.

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“Unscrupulous presidents, in this case, Massimo Cellino, who protected himself from criticism using mafia tactics.”

Cellino sold Serie B club Cagliari when he bought Leeds in January 2014 and his time in English football has also been riddled with controversy and resulted in extensive fans’ protests.

The Italian has sacked six managers during his tenure and is currently banned from all football activities for 12 months for breaching the Football Association’s agent rules.

Cellino sold 50 per cent of Leeds to fellow Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani in December of last year but remains in day-to-day control of the club.

Meanwhile, Garry Monk’s side host Preston in the Championship on Saturday afternoon as they aim to get their promotion bid back on track after consecutive Championship defeats at the hands of Brentford and Reading.

They are fifth in the second-tier table, five points ahead of Fulham in seventh, with six matches of the campaign remaining.

In other Leeds transfer news, the club have sealed an out-of-window midfielder transfer.

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