What a previous 'Spygate' case tells us about how Leeds United may be punished

Spygate has taken it's latest twist following Marcelo Bielsa's extraordinary press briefing on Wednesday night.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:37 pm
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

The question is, what's next? Well - here is how the situation currently looks for Leeds United and how a previous 'spygate' incident could suggest a possible punishment for the Whites.

What is the current state of play?

The EFL's investigations are ongoing after they released the following statement on Tuesday.

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“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’s Charter that all EFL Clubs agreed to in summer 2018.

“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.”

In the statement, the EFL asked Leeds to explain their viewpoint over the 'spygate' scandal, and we know from Wednesday evening that Bielsa has done just that.

What could happen?

Leeds aren't the first English club to be involved in a 'spygate' scandal.

Palace were accused by Premier League rivals Cardiff City of discovering their team information prior to the relegation six-pointer between the two sides in April 2014.

The south London outfit, who won the clash 3-0, were charged by the Premier League for the breach and were estimated to have been fined around £25,000 for the incident, despite calls from Cardiff for the result to be reversed.

“The board found that Crystal Palace breached Rule B.16 and has exercised its summary jurisdiction and fined the club.”

"Rule B.16 states 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”.

Bielsa invited the media to an extroadinary briefing on Wednesday evening to show in great detail the lengths he and his coaching staff go to for every opponent.

The hour-long presentation discussed Derby's tactics publicly and at length - we are yet to find out whether that may bring its own punishment.

That said, it is pure speculation on that front and first impressions suggests it is more of an ethical dilemma - which Bielsa admitted himself - rather than something to land you in trouble.