Leeds fined £200,000 following 'Spygate'

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Marcelo Bielsa and his backroom staff admitted to snooping on opponents and have been hit with a hefty fine following an EFL investigation

Leeds United have been fined £200,000 following 'Spygate', in which a club representative was caught spying on Derby County's training session prior to their upcoming Championship clash, the club have revealed in a statement on their official website.

The EFL have deemed the club to be in breach of Regulation 3.4 - ‘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.’

Consequentially, Marcelo Bielsa's side have been fined £200,000 and have also been issued a formal reprimand that the action must not be repeated. 

Furthermore, Leeds have agreed to support the writing of a new EFL regulation that expressly forbids teams from watching an opposition team's training sessions 72 hours prior to a fixture.

EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey explained the sanction and revealed that talks would commence later this month regarding the new regulation.

“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," Harvey said.

"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.

“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.”

A Leeds United spokesperson responded to the sanction, saying: "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.

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“We apologise 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.

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

Leeds play Bolton Wanderers in their next league fixture, hoping to return to the summit of the Championship with a win. 

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