‘Spygate’ and Leeds United on agenda at League meeting

Marcelo Bielsa.
Marcelo Bielsa.
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The EFL’s board is set to discuss the ‘Spygate’ controversy at its monthly meeting on Thursday as Leeds United look for a decision over possible disciplinary charges.

The Elland Road club have submitted a response to the EFL’s request for observations into the incident which saw a member of Marcelo Bielsa’s staff stopped by police outside Derby County’s training ground.

United are under investigation by the EFL and the Football Association following Bielsa’s admission that he dispatched scouts to watch every Championship club train as part of his pre-match analysis.

The dual investigations have been running for almost a month and were complicated by 11 Championship teams writing to the EFL to demand a full inquiry into Bielsa’s observation of their training facilities.

United’s head coach attended an FA interview in London on January 21 and both he and the scout involved have answered questions put to them by the governing body.

The EFL also asked Leeds for an explanation after receiving a formal complaint from Derby and United are understood to have argued their case against disciplinary sanctions in a detailed document sent last week.

Leeds United’s head coach attended an FA interview in London on January 21 and both he and the scout involved have answered questions put to them by the governing body.

EFL regulations do not govern the privacy of training grounds but the organisation said at the outset that Leeds appeared to be in breach of its club charter and had potentially contravened regulation 3.4, stating that clubs “shall behave towards each other club and the League with the utmost good faith.”

The matter is expected to be on the agenda when the EFL’s board gathers on Thursday morning.

Bielsa has been asked repeatedly about the appearance of his scout in Derby on January 10, an incident which occurred 24 hours before County lost 2-0 at Elland Road, but Leeds have made no public comment since apologising to Derby a day after the game. They declined to discuss the matter when contacted by The Yorkshire Post on Wednesday.

Both the EFL and the FA have declined to comment on progress in the case and neither body has indicated what punishment Leeds could face. The furore is likely to see a new rule about the security of training grounds put forward when the EFL holds its AGM at the end of the season.

Leeds’s away trip to QPR has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 26.