London - An appeal by Leeds United president Massimo Cellino against a Football League ruling disqualifying him from owning the English Championship club was rejected on Monday.
Cellino was banned by the League in December for failing their "fit and proper person's test" for running a club after being found guilty of tax evasion in an Italian court.
The Football League said in a statement on Monday that its Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) had found in favour of the original decision to disqualify Cellino.
"The PCC found that the reasoned judgement of the Italian Court, once it had become available, was for an act involving dishonesty as determined by the Board in its original ruling in March 2014," it said.
Cellino had argued that his offence, the non-payment of import duties on a boat for which he was fined €600 000, had not necessarily involved a "dishonest act".
However, in its judgement, the PCC states: "We consider that the judge's findings of fact and her description of Mr Cellino's state of mind based on them, is of conduct which would reasonably be considered to be dishonest.
Cellino, who completed his takeover in April last year, is disqualified until 10 April and the Football League said it would assist Leeds to help minimise "as far as possible" the effect its decision has on the club.
Leeds were English champions in 1969, 1974 and 1992 and runners-up in the 1975 European Cup final.
They are currently 20th in the (second tier) Championship.