Derby County: FA investigate after Leeds United contacted over training ground 'spy'


Derby reached the Championship play-offs last season and are sixth in the table this term

The Football Association is investigating after Derby County say a member of Leeds United’s football staff was seen acting suspiciously outside their training ground on Thursday.

The sixth-placed Rams visit the Championship leaders on Friday.

In a statement the club said they were “in discussion with Leeds officials in relation to this incident”.

The BBC has asked Leeds United for a response, while Derbyshire Police said no arrests have been made.

In a statement, they said officers were called to Derby’s training ground on Thursday morning and a man was spoken to at the perimeter fence.

The statement added: “Officers conducted routine checks which were all above board. Despite media reports, no damage to the fence was found, and the man was stopped outside the grounds.

“No arrests were made and the man was sent on his way.”

An English Football League spokesman told the BBC: “It is, of course, up to Derby County as to how they progress this matter but as of yet we have received no complaint or contact from the club.”

‘It’s not a big issue’

Speaking at his news conference on Friday, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochetinno insisted the incident was not “a big deal”.

The 46-year-old played under Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa at Newell’s Old Boys, Espanyol and for Argentina and said the practice of watching opponents train has regularly been used in his homeland.

“I played for him I learned a lot from him,” Pochettino said.

“The good and not so good. There is nothing wrong to try and find information and know a bit more about what the opponents are doing. That happened 30 years ago in Argentina. Not only Marcelo, all the managers were like this.

“Here maybe it is a little bit weird but in Argentina it happened. It is not a big issue or a big deal.”

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