Championship side Leeds United have been fined £200,000 by the English Football League after spying on a Derby County training session in January.

After a member of his staff was caught at Derby's training ground, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa admitted he had spied on all his side's opponents this season.

Bielsa was widely condemned for his approach and 11 clubs contacted the English Football League (EFL) over the incident.

After an investigation, the EFL has found Leeds to have breached rules relating to treating teams with the "utmost good faith".

In addition to the fine, the EFL has formally reprimanded Leeds and the club have agreed to support a new regulation that prohibits clubs from viewing opposition training in the 72 hours immediately before a fixture, unless invited to do so.

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.

"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."

In a statement, Leeds United said: "We accept that whilst we have not broken any specific rule, we have fallen short of the standard expected by the EFL.

"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."

Leeds United have confirmed top goalscorer Kemar Roofe is facing a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

The 26-year-old was hurt in the 2-1 Championship win over Swansea City on at Elland Road on Wednesday.

The club say Roofe damaged knee ligaments but would not put a time frame on his recovery.

"Roofe will now work hard with the medical team at Thorp Arch to return to action as quickly as possible," they said on Monday.

Roofe has scored 14 goals in 26 league games this season to help Marcelo Bielsa's side sustain a challenge for promotion.

They sit third in the table after 32 matches, two points behind leaders Norwich City, but with a game in hand.

Leeds United returned to the top of the Championship after a 2-1 victory over Swansea City, Marcelo Bielsa's side leapfrogging Norwich City – who lost at Preston North End.

Leeds had started Wednesday two points behind Norwich but goals from Pontus Jansson and Jack Harrison were enough to move them back to the summit.

Oliver McBurnie did pull one back for Swansea with a late penalty but it was too little too late as Leeds sealed an 18th win of the campaign midweek.

Leeds have a one-point advantage over Norwich thanks to stunning display from Preston – managed by former Canaries boss Alex Neil – at Deepdale.

CANARIES KNOCKED OFF THEIR PERCH

Preston quickly opened up a 2-0 lead over Norwich as Ben Davies and Paul Gallagher beat Tim Krul. 

Marco Stiepermann missed a penalty before the break and when Sean Maguire scored Preston's third, Norwich were beaten.

Teemu Pukki grabbed a consolation in stoppage time but it was never going to be enough to stop them dropping down to second position following the 3-1 defeat.

Sheffield United are hot on their heels after a 1-0 win over 10-man Middlesbrough, Richard Stearman's first goal of the season enough to move the Blades within two points of the automatic promotion places.

 

LAMPARD LEFT FRUSTRATED

With Middlesbrough losing, Derby County had the chance to move into the top-six but they could only take a point at bottom club Ipswich Town after a 1-1 draw.

Tom Lawrence gave Derby an early lead at Portman Road but Jon Nolan rescued a point minutes after coming off the bench for Paul Lambert's strugglers.

"The team performance wasn't good enough," said a frustrated Frank Lampard. "If there was a natural complacency from going 1-0 up, then we got taught a lesson."

 

SMITH LOSES ON BRENTFORD RETURN

Dean Smith's first trip back to Brentford ended in a 1-0 defeat as his Aston Villa side conceded in the 91st minute at Griffin Park, Neal Maupay netting his 18th goal of the campaign.

"We are getting further away [from the promotion picture] at the moment because we're not picking up points," said a dejected Smith. "We have to take stock of it now and make sure we go and get a result against West Brom."

Elsewhere, Reading lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers, while Stoke City are four games without a win after a goalless draw against Wigan Athletic.

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear confirmed that the club's teenage winger Jack Clarke is heading home from hospital to rest after suffering an illness during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough.

Clarke was treated by paramedics in the Leeds dugout during the last 10 minutes of the game at the Riverside Stadium before being taken to the James Cook University Hospital for tests.

Kinnear said that the 18-year-old, who played the first half of the game before being substituted, spent the night at the hospital and will undergo tests but gave a positive assessment of his condition.

"Jack has had messages from football fans from every club you can imagine and we all really appreciate it," Kinnear told the club's official website.

"Jack spent the night under the supervision of the medical staff from the club and he will return home today.

"He will undergo some more tests this week and everything is looking well, but he won't train for the rest of the week.

"In the meantime we would like to thank everyone who has sent well wishes and once again thank Middlesbrough Football Club for all they did for Jack."

Clarke looks set to miss Leeds' Championship clash with Swansea City on Wednesday at Elland Road, where they will seek a first win in three matches to boost their hopes of promotion.

Clarke has made 16 league appearances for Leeds this season, scoring two goals and attracting interest from Premier League clubs during the January transfer window.

He posted a message on Twitter, saying: "Would like to thank everyone for the support and love they have shown, massively appreciated."

Leeds United youngster Jack Clarke has been taken to hospital after falling ill during his side's 1-1 Championship draw with Middlesbrough.

The 18-year-old, who started the match but was substituted at half-time, was attended to by paramedics in the dugout during the final 10 minutes of normal time.

The club released a statement, which read: "Jack Clarke began to feel unwell during the second half of our Sky Bet Championship fixture with Middlesbrough and received medical attention.
   
"The player is responsive and attending hospital with the club's head of medicine and performance.
   
"On behalf of everyone at Leeds United, we would like to thank the medical staff from both clubs for their response to the incident."

Kalvin Phillips equalised in the 11th minute of injury time to secure a point for the visitors at the Riverside Stadium.

The result puts Marcelo Bielsa's side back on top of the Championship, one point ahead of Norwich City, who face Ipswich Town on Sunday.

The English Football League (EFL) is to continue an investigation into Leeds United spying on fellow Championship sides.

After a member of his staff was caught at Derby County's training ground last month, Marcelo Bielsa admitted he has spied on all Leeds' opponents this season.

Bielsa was widely condemned for his approach and 11 clubs contacted the EFL over the incident.

"At its meeting on Friday afternoon, the EFL Board (*excluding representatives of the Championship) considered the matter of the incident in the vicinity of Derby County’s training ground on Thursday January 10," an EFL statement read.

"Following a comprehensive review of all available evidence, it was determined that there remain a number of areas that require further exploration and clarification and these investigations will take place at the earliest opportunity.

"An update on this matter will be provided following receipt and analysis of those subsequent enquiries and until this point no further comment will be made."

Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown previously called for Leeds to be docked points.

"They ought to seriously consider it but I don't think that will happen as I don't think the EFL will be strong enough to do something like that," he told the BBC.

"A fine would go some way towards showing it's not acceptable. Whatever happens we mustn't condone it."

Leeds United relinquished their grip on top spot in the Championship as Mario Vrancic scored a double to help Norwich City claim an impressive 3-1 win at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa's side relied on a late comeback against Rotherham United to secure the points in their last outing, but Leeds had no such luck against a rugged Norwich on Saturday, with Vrancic and Teemu Pukki doing the damage.

Vrancic got things started with a wicked free-kick five minutes in, and the midfielder played a crucial role in Norwich's second 30 minutes later.

With Leeds having squandered possession deep in their own half, Marco Stiepermann kept his cool to tee up Vrancic, whose deflected strike presented Pukki with a simple finish.

Mateusz Klich and Ezgjan Alioski had gone close to restoring parity shortly before Pukki's goal, and the latter would have set up a grandstand finish if not for a fine block by Maximillian Aarons.

And Norwich, now unbeaten in 13 consecutive away games, made their good fortune count – Vrancic on hand to double his tally and ensure that the Canaries leapfrogged their hosts into first place, with Patrick Bamford's stoppage-time header proving a mere consolation.

Leeds United have confirmed Stuart Dallas has been ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.

The Northern Ireland international was due to return imminently from a fractured foot that has kept him out of action since December 1.

But the Championship leaders announced on Monday that Dallas has had a new setback after being hurt in training.

"Leeds United winger Stuart Dallas has suffered an ankle injury in training," a club statement said.

"Dallas, who recently recovered from a foot injury, has been ruled out for up to six weeks. We wish Stuart a speedy recovery."

The 27-year-old has made 15 Championship appearances this season, scoring one goal, with Leeds three points clear at the top of the table.

Patrick Bamford and Gaetano Berardi are already sidelined for Leeds, whose next game is against promotion rivals Norwich City at Elland Road on Saturday.

Martin O'Neill registered his first win as Nottingham Forest manager as Leeds United moved three points clear at the top of the Championship on Saturday.

Several second-tier sides were in FA Cup action, but there were still some big results in the league, with Leeds returning to winning ways while Forest and Blackburn Rovers kept up the presser on the top six.

Norwich City and Sheffield United battled to a draw, losing pace behind Leeds, while Aston Villa defeated strugglers Ipswich Town.

Stoke City had beaten Leeds last week, but their difficult season continued with a humbling home reverse at the hands of Preston North End.

LEEDS BATTLE BACK

Having lost last week, Leeds needed to show a response and their trip to Rotherham United did not start well, trailing to Semi Ajayi's opener for the hosts at the break.

But Mateusz Klich came up with a response following the restart, netting after 51 minutes to set up a tense finale. The same man then delivered to complete a turnaround, striking the winner four minutes from time.

Marcelo Bielsa's mood would have improved further upon seeing the result at Carrow Road, where Billy Sharp twice cancelled out Norwich goals as Sheffield United earned a 2-2 draw.

Leeds now hold a three-point advantage over second-placed Norwich, with the Blades a further three points back after leapfrogging West Brom.

O'NEILL UP AND RUNNING

Forest's first home match under former favourite O'Neill had underwhelmed, with Bristol City claiming a 1-0 win at the City Ground last time out.

But the Reds' fortunes improved on Saturday. Despite registering just three shots on target against Wigan Athletic, O'Neill's men ran out 3-1 winners. Joe Lolley, Matty Cash and Adlene Guedioura were on target.

Although Forest climbed the table with victory, they remain below Blackburn after Tony Mowbray's side sealed an impressive 3-0 victory against Hull City.

Villa are also in the play-off picture following a 2-1 defeat of lowly Ipswich. Tammy Abraham continued his outstanding form with a brace.

STOKE STUTTER AGAIN

The Potters would have hoped that their fortunes had turned with the arrival of Nathan Jones and a win against Leeds last week, but a wretched campaign was punctuated with another dismal defeat on Saturday.

Preston clinched a 2-0 win at Stoke with goals through Alan Browne and Brad Potts.

A side plying their trade in the Premier League just 12 months ago remain 15th in the Championship, with just one win in eight across all competitions.

The English Football League has confirmed 11 Championship clubs have made contact regarding Leeds United after their head coach Marcelo Bielsa admitted to sending spies to watch training sessions of every team his side have faced this season.

Bielsa made a full and frank confession on Wednesday after an employee of the club was caught outside Derby County's training ground in the week leading up to Leeds' 2-0 victory over the Rams.

The EFL launched a formal investigation after Derby lodged a complaint, and more unnamed clubs have since made their views known.

A statement from the EFL read: "The EFL has received a communication on behalf of a number of Championship clubs in regard to the current matter involving Leeds United.

"The request attributed to 11 clubs will be considered as part of the current investigation that has commenced."

On Friday, Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown said Leeds should be docked points.

"The only thing that makes sense if I'm honest is a points deduction," Lansdown told BBC Points West.

"They ought to seriously consider it but I don't think that will happen as I don't think the EFL will be strong enough to do something like that.

"A fine would go some way towards showing it's not acceptable. Whatever happens we mustn't condone it.

"If he'd asked to send someone to watch our training we would have said no. And every other football club would say no. So why does he think it's acceptable to do it?

"However great a coach he is, it's the wrong thing to do. Poking around and skulking around a training ground is not part of the game."

Leeds' win over Derby kept them top of the Championship and on course for promotion back to the Premier League after an absence of almost 15 years.

Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa's Derby County analysis dossier was "pretty standard for the industry", according to the head of sports data giant OptaPro.

Mauricio Pochettino reiterated his "love" for Marcelo Bielsa but admitted his fellow Argentine is wrong in the ongoing 'Spygate' controversy.

Jurgen Klopp spoke out against Marcelo Bielsa after the Leeds United boss confessed to spying on every team the Championship leaders have faced this season.

Page 1 of 4
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.