A Leeds United fan is trying to raise £200,000 HIMSELF to pay the Spygate fine

A serving soldier has started a crowdfunding campaign to enable supporters to pay Leeds United's £200,000 Spygate penalty.

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 8:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 8:37 am
Marcelo Bielsa

Jack Platt, who is originally from Belle Isle and now lives in Redcar in North Yorkshire, will donate the money to charity if the club do not accept the money.

He has already raised £2,000 since setting up the Gofundme page.

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He says the money will be split between the Leeds United Foundation and a fund in memory of six-year-old fan Toby Nye, who recently died of cancer, if the club declines it.

"I would like to personally hand-deliver to the club or the chosen charities the amount raised - if the club don’t accept it then I believe the money going to these charities would make a huge difference and would be split equally. I have no connection to any of the charities. I as a Leeds United fan wanted to help our club or our community. Just a normal guy serving in the British Army trying to help, born and lived in Leeds for 24 years now residing in Redcar."

Click here to donate to the appeal.

The punishment from the EFL has been accepted by Leeds United and will not be subject to any appeal.

The club have apologised, saying the saga was "judged culturally unacceptable in the English game", and agreed to support the introduction of a new EFL rule governing the privacy of training grounds.

The EFL was investigating Leeds and head coach Marcelo Bielsa after a member of Bielsa’s scouting team was spotted outside Derby County’s training complex the day before Derby lost 2-0 at Elland Road on January 11. Derby made a formal complaint to the EFL and Bielsa subsequently admitted that he had dispatched scouts to watch every Championship club train this season.

That admission led 11 teams in the division to write to the EFL demanding a thorough investigation. The governing body had the option of charging Leeds under regulation 3.4, which requires clubs to act in the “utmost good faith”, and asking an independent panel to pass judgement on the case. A settlement has been announced this evening, however, following talks between United officials and the governing body. Leeds admitted to a breach of the rules.

An EFL statement said: “After finalising its investigations into the incident at Derby County’s training ground on Thursday, January 10, the EFL reached the conclusion that the conduct undertaken by Leeds United in observing opponents’ training sessions is a breach of regulation 3.4.

“Leeds United has fully cooperated with the EFL’s inquiries and following a comprehensive review of all the evidence provided, the club has now formally admitted a breach of regulation 3.4.

“As a consequence, the club has been fined £200,000 (inclusive of a contribution to costs) and received a formal reprimand and warning to the effect that the club’s conduct fell significantly short of the standards expected by the EFL and must not be repeated.

“In addition, Leeds United has agreed to support a new EFL regulation that makes it clear that clubs will be expressly prohibited from viewing opposition training in the 72 hours immediately prior to a fixture, unless invited to do so.

“The EFL has informed all the Championship clubs who sought additional clarification regarding the conduct of Leeds United of the findings that relate to their club.”

United argued strongly against any punishment in written submissions sent to the EFL two weeks ago but have agreed to take a six-figure fine in return for closure.

Bielsa’s habit of observing opposition training sessions has no precise precedent in England and is not specifically covered by EFL rules. Crystal Palace received a £25,000 fine from the Premier League in 2014 following allegations that Cardiff City’s team sheet was leaked to them ahead of a match between the sides. United, whose staff are believed to have successfully watched around half of the clubs in the Championship train, have been fined almost 10 times as much.