By Harry Sykes
Karren Brady has delivered a massive dig at Leeds United joint-owner Massimo Cellino in the Sun as she hit out at controversial Monaco owner Dmitry Yevgenyevich Rybolovlev.
The French club secured a place in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday night after eliminating Borussia Dortmund 6-3 on aggregate.
It propelled Monaco into the last four of Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2004 and also justified the investment of their controversial Russian owner, who took over the club in 2011.
The outspoken Hammers vice-chairman turned her fire on Rybolovlev as she noted how his personal and business track record was tainted by controversy.
“Russian oligarch Dmitry Yevgenyevich Rybolovlev is a big-time winner and ultimate success for Monaco in the Champions League would amount to the president’s coronation,” Brady wrote in her Sun diary column on Wednesday.
“Among the 50-year- old’s ‘achievements’ are: Being cleared of a contract killing when the only living witness recanted his evidence; having two ecological disasters while owning a mining company; driving ex-wife Elena to say she was ‘sick of his fondness for other women’; appearing in the Panama Papers scandal; allegedly buying up shares in footballers, illegal in Europe etc, etc.
“Makes Leeds United’s Massimo Cellino look like an innocent abroad.”
Cellino bought Leeds in 2014 and his spell as owner has been marked by controversy, with six managers sacked during his erratic reign.
The Italian is currently serving a one-year ban from any football-related activity after being found guilty of breaching FA agent regulations.
Cellino sold a 50 per cent stake in Leeds to fellow Italian Andrea Radrizzani at the end of last year but has insisted that he intends to hold on to his remaining share.
Meanwhile, it appears that Leeds will now have to win the final two matches of their league campaign to have any chance of securing a top-six finish.
Garry Monk’s team slumped to a 2-1 Championship defeat at Burton on Saturday to leave their promotion dream in tatters.
They will also be reliant upon other sides slipping up over the next two weekends to have any chance of ending the club’s 13-year spell in the lower leagues.
In other Leeds United transfer news, the club have done the deal for an out-of-window transfer of a midfield player.