Derby County make training ground changes in wake of Leeds United Spygate saga

Derby County have installed netting on the fences around the perimeter of their training ground in the wake of the ‘Spygate’ controversy involving Leeds United.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 2:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st January 2019, 2:58 pm
Derby County has installed netting at Moor Farm. (credit: Chris Watson, Derby Telepraph)

Pictures published by the Derby Telegraph today showed green netting obscuring the view from the road used by a member of Marcelo Bielsa’s staff to watch Derby train 24 hours before County’s 2-0 defeat at Elland Road on January 11.

Areas of Derby’s complex are visible from public land and Bielsa’s staff member was stopped by police there as he observed a session staged by County manager Frank Lampard.

The incident led Derby to complain to the EFL and later prompted a collective letter from 11 Championship clubs demanding a full inquiry into Bielsa’s scouting methods this season.

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United’s head coach has admitted to sending staff to watch every Championship team train and he and Leeds are under investigation by both the EFL and the Football Association. Bielsa met with FA officials in London last week but is yet to be served with any disciplinary charges.

Derby have now attempted to improve secrecy at their training ground by covering parts of their fence with sheeting.

Lampard was asked after the defeat at Elland Road if he would modify the property but said: “Listen, if you have to go that far because of an opposition manager doing it, then for security reasons yes. But we have a very secure training ground which the owner has spent a lot of money on developing before I was at the club.

“I know for a fact that teams like Manchester City and Chelsea are ultra-secretive about how they train and what they do - what’s filmed and what’s kept secret because that’s how it should be. How you train and how you prepare is yours. Then you take it to a matchday.

“Let’s not point any fingers at our training ground. It’s a great facility where we welcome people. We welcome fans, guests of myself, players, anybody. You don’t expect what happened to happen.”