Should Leeds be charged for spygate?

Should Leeds be charged for spygate?

Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa have claimed more headlines than most in the last week following spy-gate.

Bielsa and his coaching staff were caught spying on Derby County’s training session in the lead up to their Championship clash last Friday.

Leeds went on to win the game comfortably, adding even more fuel to the fire, especially as far as Derby are concerned.

Bielsa and Leeds have apologised for their mis-step, however, they remain under investigation and the wait is on to find out how severely they are punished.

Could it be a points deduction? Could they receive a fine? Here’s what’s happened and the likely punishment Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa will face.

The background

If you’ve missed the story so far, here’s what happened.

Leeds United played Derby County last Friday night and in the build-up to the game, there was uproar.

Derby County were training ahead of the game, running through their final preparations when they halted training after spotting someone suspicious lingering near the area where they were training.

Police then stepped in to question the suspicious individual who turned out to be an employee of Leeds United, and someone who works as part of their football operations, I,e coaching or scouting.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was then asked about this, and he didn’t shy away, admitting straight up that he sent someone to watch Derby’s training session in a bid to gain that extra edge. Leeds would go on to comfortably win the match.

He says it’s common practice in other countries and Leeds United later apologised to Derby County over the incident. The statement read: “Following comments made by Marcelo Bielsa yesterday 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. We will make no further comment on this matter."

This all ended with Marcelo Bielsa giving a lengthy presentation to the media during his press conference on Wednesday. He decided to show the media all of the scouting work he does on each team Leeds play with extensive materials included in his Powerpoint presentation.

Leeds United

What’s wrong with spying?

This isn’t something the rulebook necessarily covers, but it’s an ethical issue, rather than a legal one. There were days when teams trained in the open, just cast your mind back to Leeds in the Don Revie days – pretty much anyone could spot their training pitch.

However, training very much differs now with intense tactical preparation and that’s seen teams move further into their highly-protected premises.

Members of the public aren’t allowed to watch training unless the club’s state otherwise, and the pitches are often surrounded by large fences and bushes to obscure view from the public, that’s if you can even get on to the often-private property.

So, it takes some effort to spy on a training session, and you have to question why in the first place.Marcelo Bielsa is obsessive, he studies everything down to the final detail, so then why does he have to go and spy on a private training session. That’s not an extra edge he is entitled to.

It shows a lack of integrity. It’s information you’re not entitled to. There has to be privacy in the game, without it, we lose a level of competition.

With increased coverage of games, teams already have unprecedented access to other teams, we certainly don’t need to take another step by giving other clubs access to training sessions.

Leeds United

Should Bielsa be punished?

Yes. This is something Bielsa has likely done all year. This occasion is just when he has been caught.Leeds aren’t top of the league solely because of that, Bielsa is a very good coach and he has a good squad at his disposal, too.

However, Leeds have gained an advantage all season by spying and it’s one other teams haven’t had. That’s cheating, and it means other clubs are playing at a disadvantage to Leeds.

That can’t be allowed to happen.The issue in this case, is that there is no set punishment, because it’s not included in the rulebook.

That limits the EFL and FA in what they can do to punish Leeds, unless it’s decided that the rulebook be modified to cater for this sort of activity. On the basis that Leeds have cheated and gained an advantage, a points deduction would meet seriousness of the crime so-to-speak, however that’s not going to happen.

You can’t create such a serious punishment out of nothing when you haven’t punished anyone else in the same way.

The likelihood is, that Bielsa and Leeds will both receive a hefty fine, something they’ll be rather pleased with, while other clubs, including Derby, will be left furious.

The most important thing here is that the EFL and FA ensure there is a more serious punishment for any future instances from Leeds or other clubs. This can’t be allowed to happen again.

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds

⚽️ GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ⚽️
New customers only. First single & e/w bet only odds of 1/1 or greater. 3 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes are not included in returns. Free bets are only redeemable on football. Free bets are non-withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions and further t&cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔸 BET £10 AND GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 🔸
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
⚽️ BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! (MOBILE ONLY) ⚽️
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Sportsbook bets on any market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs), and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion (Apple Pay excluded). T&Cs apply
Get Offer
🔷 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £10 🔷
Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.
Claim Bonus
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
CLAIM HERE
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS ✅
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU BET £5 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
✅ GET A FREE BET UP TO £35 + 10 FREE SPINS ✅
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
BET £5 & GET £30 IN BONUSES
18+ New Customers opt in, bet £5 & get 2x £10 Free Bets for set events (odds 2.00+) + £10, Slots Bonus, selected games, 35x wagering to withdraw max £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card Payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🎉 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS! 🎉
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES + A £10 CASINO BONUS 🟢
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. #Ad
Claim Bonus
🔵 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS + ACCA REWARDS OF YOUR CHOICE! 🔵
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚫️ GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! ⚫️
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus