Massimo Cellino: 'I blame myself for failed takeover bid'

Massimo Cellino blames himself for the collapse of his Leeds United takeover bid, but insists that he is not a dishonest person.

Massimo Cellino has said that he blames himself for the collapse of his Leeds United takeover bid after it was rejected by the Football League today.

Cellino had agreed to purchase a 75% stake in the club last month, but the Football League have refused to ratify the takeover due to a "disqualifying condition under its Owners' and Directors' Test".

The 57-year-old, who was recently found guilty of tax evasion, refused to blame the league for their decision but insists that he is not a dishonest person and doesn't deserve to be treated like a "criminal".

"At this moment I don't have any energy to react. I feel very weak and exhausted. I cannot blame anyone, I just blame myself - the only thing that hurts me is that I know I am not a dishonest person. To be treated like a criminal is very bad, I know that I am not like that. I can't blame the League, the only thing that I can blame the league is that they've taking too much time to give an answer," Cellino told BBC Sport.

"It was a beautiful dream and I think we have to find the energy to show that I am not a dishonest man, because if I was dishonest I would never go to England to show my face and to take such a big responsibility to fund Leeds. I wish there was a new trial tomorrow to show my innocence but unfortunately it takes time. I am a good man and a good person who wants to his best for Leeds. Why should they believe it? I haven't had the chance to show how much I want to do good things for Leeds.

"It's a beautiful club and the richness of the club is the fans and I bought the club for this reason. The club has nothing else. They sold their stadium, their banqueting, training station, they own nothing. Why I bought the club is because it has big potential, good history and it's a big challenge because they've lot of fans. The people who ran the club, they didn't do it on purpose, but they didn't know anything about soccer."

Cellino announced earlier this month that he would not inject any more money into the club until the Football League had made their decision.

A general view of Elland Road, home of Leeds United on January 9, 2013
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