Pantomime Villain of the Week: Massimo Cellino

Photo: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

Photo: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse

Multiple reports from our most reputable sources in the European press have Massimo Cellino — the Italian-born, Miami-based, chain-smoking, ex-con owner of Serie A club Cagliari — purchasing that greatest gift of British football, Leeds United A.F.C.

James Richardson touched on the matter briefly in this week’s Football Weekly Extra; as you might have guessed, Cellino is “one of those crazy figures” who occupy the colorful world of Italian football club owners, the kind of guy who would move his club’s home matches across the country and whose dealings with local politicians would naturally find him serving a two-week stint in jail for embezzlement and other charges.

In any case, this is the guy who wants to buy Leeds, which is all fine and dandy. The real reason I’m writing about this, though, is because Massimo Cellino is also the type of megalomaniac who uses his wealth and position in life to make a very particular, outsized personal aspiration come true.

That’s right.

Because every boy grows up with dreams of becoming a rock star — of delivering a soul-lifting, face-melting rendition of “Hey Joe” onstage before crowds of adoring fans and desirous women — and yet so few have the drive, ability, and talent to actually do so on their own merit.

And because money, my friends, allows you to circumvent that harsh reality and, screw it, start a rock band of your own. Massimo 1, Life 0.

I should point out that this particular persuasion is far from unique to Massimo. No, it appears starting a band is just what you do when you’ve always wanted to be a musician, were never quite (or nearly) good enough, but fortunately came into a load of money that you spent purchasing and subsequently mismanaging sports teams. Don’t believe me?

Yeah, Leeds fans. Next time you have the chance — wherever and however that may be — ask a New York Knicks fan what they think of James Dolan.

Oh, yes. Brace yourselves for the Massimo Cellino Era.



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