The EFL has today written to Leeds United requesting their observations in regard to an incident that took place in the vicinity of Derby County’s training ground on Thursday 10 January, 2019.
It follows a complaint from Derby County who allege that an individual, acting under the instruction of Leeds United, sought to observe a private training session the day before the two Clubs were due to meet in the Sky Bet Championship.
The EFL has now determined that it is appropriate to consider this matter in the context of a number of EFL Regulations whilst also noting that the alleged actions appear to contravene the Club Charter that all EFL Clubs agreed to in summer 2018.
The decision to progress this matter to a formal investigation comes as a result of the Club’s manager, Marcelo Bielsa, admitting to instructing an individual to undertake the acts being complained of in a television interview broadcast on Sky Sports on Friday 11 January 2019.
The Football Association has also confirmed they are considering the same matter in line with its own rules and the EFL will work with its FA counterparts to ensure that any potential action taken does not prejudice those investigations being undertaken.
At this stage the EFL considers that the following Regulations are relevant to this particular issue:
(a) 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…”
(b) Regulation 21. The EFL also considers it may be appropriate to take action against individuals, including the Manager, on the basis that Regulation 21 provides as follows:
“… all Officials and Players shall by virtue of their fulfilment of those roles be deemed to have given to The League:
21.2.1 an undertaking to The League not to bring The League or any Club, into disrepute;
21.2.2 an undertaking not to do anything or omit to do anything which will cause a Club to be in breach of the Laws of the Game, the Football Association Rules, these Regulations or the Articles of Association…”