Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa admits sending 'spy' to Derby's training ground


Ahead of their Sky Bet Championship clash on Friday night, the Rams claimed that a man who was escorted from the perimeter of their training ground on Thursday after "acting suspiciously" was, in fact, a Leeds employee.

Gary Neville, former Manchester United player and England assistant coach, has criticised the press for taking the moral high ground in the debate, recalling times when journalists would send spies to watch England train at worldwide tournaments and publish tactics, effectively doing the opposition's preparation for them.

Bielsa spoke to Lampard over the phone to accept full responsibility for the incident but the former England midfielder was still unhappy with the pre-match distraction after goals from Kemar Roofe and Jack Harrison secured Leeds a welcome win. "For some people it is the wrong thing, for others it's not".

"It doesn't matter if this is legal, illegal, right or wrong, for me it's enough that Frank Lampard and Derby County felt it was not the right thing to do".

'I talked to Lampard and he told me that I didn't respect the fair play rules.

Leeds United have made a formal apology and reminded manager Marcelo Bielsa of his responsibilities in the wake of the spying row that overshadowed Friday's 2-0 win over Derby.

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"It is, of course, up to Derby County as to how they progress this matter but as of yet we have received no complaint or contact from the club", an EFL spokesman said.

In his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, Andrews said: "It's madness, initially there was a comical value to it, someone skulking around the training ground - but it's disgusting really. It has disrupted our buildup to this game".

"So I think you look at all three of those games and you think, we can go away from home and play well and almost get a result against Chelsea and obviously win the other two games".

"The training stopped because the police came on the training ground, then it went away".

Neville took issue with this, saying: "Surely sending spies daily to climb fences / hide in bathrooms with windows overlooking the training pitch to watch England sessions and disclosing your own countries team and tactics would be worse. No?" If it's a cultural thing I'm very surprised because I don't think it's right. "It's up to the league to see how they deal with it".