December 8, 2016 / 5:24 PM / in 8 months

Leeds owner Cellino gets 18-month ban and hefty fine

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Britain Football Soccer - Liverpool v Leeds United - EFL Cup Quarter Final - Anfield - 29/11/16 Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino in the stands Reuters / Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has received an 18-month ban from the Football Association and fined 250,000 pounds.

The Italian was punished for breaching agent rules over the sale of striker Ross McCormack to Championship rivals Fulham in 2014.

"Mr Cellino has been suspended for 18 months from being a director or shadow director of Leeds United or any other football club or company whose activities include ownership of a football club," the FA said in a statement on Thursday.

"By 30 April 2017 he is to attend and complete an FA education programme covering the duties and responsibilities of an owner and director of an English football club."

It is the third time Cellino, 60, has been banned since taking over at Leeds in April 2014. The suspension will begin in February and run until September 2018.

Leeds were also fined 250,000 pounds while agent Derek Day was fined 75,000 pounds and banned for 18 months.

Last week Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani said he was in "advanced negotiations" with Cellino over buying a 50 percent stake in the club with a view to taking complete control next year.

Leeds, who are fourth in the table, travel to second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday.

Reporting by Neil Robinson

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