2 Bird, solicitors in London, through Mr Jonathan Taylor, partner; and by Mr
Nick Craig, the League’
s Director of Legal Affairs; assisted by Mr Antonio Carino, a senior associate in the Milan office of DLA Piper, solicitors. 4.
The representatives contributed with skill and professionalism to secure an early hearing of the appeal, and provided written and oral submissions of high quality for which I was very grateful. Written evidence and oral argument was presented. I also heard oral evidence by telephone from Professor Stefano Maffei, Professor of Criminal Procedure at the University of Parma. By agreement between the parties, Professor Maffei also provided a written report dated 28 March 2014. 5.
The appeal is governed by English law (rule 6.8 of Appendix 3 to the rules, incorporating rule 83.1). The two main issues of substance I have to determine are, first, whether the decision of the court in Cagliari on 18 March 2014 was a
; and second, if so, whether it was a conviction for an offence which can reasonably be considered to fall within the category of a
“an offence involving a Dishonest Act”, i.e. “any act which would reasonably be considered
to be dishone
Those words are the relevant parts of the definitions of
“Disqualifying Condition” and “Dishonest Act”
in Appendix 3, rule 1.1. 6.
If the answer to both questions is yes, then the League’s decision is correct, Mr Cellino is subject to a “Disqualifying Condition” and by rule 2.1 of Appendix 3 he is “disqualified from holding office or acting as a Club Director at a Club”
unless there are “compelling reasons” (see rule 6.2) why that should not be so.
If the answer to either question is no, then he
is not subject a “Disqualifying Condition” and is not disqualified from acting as a director of a League club.
By rule 6.2 of Appendix 3, Mr Cellino’s appeal can only succeed if he satisfies
me (a) that he is not subject to a Disqualifying Condition, and/or (b) that if he
is, there are “compelling reasons” why his conviction in Cagliari on 18 March
2014 should not lead to his disqualification from holding office or acting as a