Leeds fined £200,000 for “Spygate”

The English Football Leagues (EFL) has decided Leeds United breached regulations by using a person to “spy” on other club’s training sessions.

On Thursday 10 January of this year, a person was detected watching Derby County’s training session.

That person was working for Leeds United’s manager Marcelo Bielsa.

And the Argentinean coach admitted days later that he was using spy tactics on the rest of the Championship teams.

This is why the English Football Leagues (EFL) has decided to fine the team for £200,000 for breaching Regulation 3.4.

Regulation 3.4 provides that “in all matters and transactions relating to the League, each Club shall behave towards each other Club and The League with the utmost good faith,” read the statement published on the EFL’s official website.

“The regulatory requirement to act in ‘utmost good faith’ was brought into EFL Regulations two years ago and was bolstered in 2018 by the introduction of the club charter, which sets out in more detail the standards of behavior expected of member clubs,” EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said.

“The facts of this particular case were not ones we would have expected – and have to deal with a complaint about – and it is clearly impossible to have a specific set of Regulations that will apply in all circumstances of poor conduct, so, this charge was brought under a general Regulation.”

“In doing this, the EFL has demonstrated we have appropriate provisions in place to protect our competitions and apply to all clubs,” he continued.

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“The sanctions imposed highlight how actions such as this cannot be condoned and act as a clear deterrent should any club seek to undertake poor conduct in the future.”

“I would like to thank Leeds United for their assistance in helping to bring this matter to a conclusion as quickly as was practically possible,” he added.

“We will now look to move on from this incident and commence the discussions about introducing a specific Regulation at a meeting with all clubs later this month.”

Leeds United added too: “We accept that whilst we have not broken any specific rule, we have fallen short of the standard expected by the EFL with regards to regulation 3.4.”

“We apologize for acting in a way that has been judged culturally unacceptable in the English game and would like to thank Shaun Harvey and the EFL for the manner in which they conducted their investigations,” the club wrote.

“Our focus can now return to matters on the field.”

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