Leeds ‘to remind Bielsa of club’s integrity’ after ‘spy’ row with Derby

Marcelo Bielsa (left) and Frank Lampard shook hands both before and after Friday’s game at Elland Road

Head coach Marcelo Bielsa will be “reminded of the integrity and honesty” of Leeds United after he admitted sending a staff member to ‘spy’ on a Derby County training session.

Before Leeds’ 2-0 win over the Rams on Friday, Bielsa said he was responsible after a man was seen outside the Rams’ training ground the previous day.

Leeds have also “formally apologised” for Bielsa’s pre-match conduct.

The Football Association has said it is investigating the incident.

A Leeds statement said: “Following comments made by Marcelo Bielsa on Friday, the club will look to work with our head coach and his staff to remind them of the integrity and honesty which are the foundations that Leeds United is built on.

“Our owner Andrea Radrizzani has met with Derby County’s owner Mel Morris to formally apologise for Marcelo’s actions.”

Derbyshire Police removed the man and no arrests were made.

‘I don’t feel I cheated’, says Bielsa

Leeds moved five points clear at the top of the Championship with their victory at Elland Road.

Both before and after the match, the Argentine reiterated that “the responsibility for this lies with me” and insisted nobody from Leeds had given him permission to ‘spy’ on Derby’s training session.

But Bielsa, who said he had been carrying out the practice for “many years”, denied it was “immoral”.

He said: “I understand (Derby manager) Frank Lampard is angry because he thinks I’m someone who is cheating.

“I understand he draws this conclusion. But I don’t feel I cheated because my goal was not to get an illegal advantage.

“I can explain my behaviour but my intention is not to be understood or to justify it. I have to respect the norms in the country where I work.”

Lampard refused to use the pre-match ‘spygate’ saga as an excuse for his side’s performance – but said “it has to be dealt with”.

The former Chelsea and England midfielder told BBC Radio 5 live: “It’s not right. I’m a big fan from afar of Bielsa, I’ve got his book at home in my front room, but that’s slightly clouded it for me.

“I’ve never heard of going to a training ground on your hands and knees with pliers trying to break into private land to watch.

“But I don’t attribute our performance to it because that’s on us.”

On Friday, an English Football League spokesman said it had received no official complaint or contact from the club.


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