​Leeds United's controversial Italian owner Massimo Cellino has been banned from all footballing activities for 18 months and fined £250,000, for breaching FA regulations over use of agents.

The ruling relates to Cellino's actions regarding the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham in 2014. Leeds as a club have also been fined £250,000, while agent Derek Day must also pay a penalty of £75,000 for his involvement in the incident.

Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship

Cellino, whose ban will come into effect from February 2017, has already protested the ruling and came out swinging, publishing a bullish message on the club's official website.

"I am surprised to read the news regarding the FA’s intentions to ban and fine me, as well as fine the Club. I am not guilty and I will take the right steps to defend myself through the tribunal," he wrote, as quoted by the ​Mirror.

Cagliari Calcio v FC Juventus - Serie A

"I feel that I am guilty of one thing, protecting Leeds United since I took charge of the Club.

"I ask the players, manager and my staff to continue to work with loyalty and professionalism and to keep fighting for the Club everyday on and off the pitch.

"I am sure that the public in this country and the free press will take the time to look into this case and find the truth."

Leeds United v Middlesbrough   - Sky Bet Championship

In a statement, the FA also confirmed that the Italian former owner of Serie A side Cagliari would also have to attend an "FA education programme covering the duties and responsibilities of an owner and director of an English football club."

Cellino has been plagued by controversy since taking over at Elland Road, and has sacked six managers and been found guilty of tax evasion in his two years at the helm.