Norwich City, one of the clubs vying with Leeds United for the Championship title, revealed today that they are among the sides who have written to the EFL demanding a full investigation into Marcelo Bielsa and the ‘Spygate’ controversy.
Norwich moved to confirm publicly that they were involved in a collective complaint made to the EFL on the back of an admission by Bielsa that he had sent staff to secretly watch every team in the division train this season.
Eleven Championship clubs are pressing the EFL for an extensive inquiry into the matter after the governing body confirmed this week that it was examining a complaint made by Derby County in the wake of their 2-0 defeat at Elland Road on January 11.
Police were called to Derby’s training ground 24 hours ahead of that game after reports of a man acting suspiciously outside the property. Bielsa later admitted that the individual was a member of his backroom team and had been travelled on his instruction to watch Derby train.
The Football Association is also investigating the matter but pressure on the EFL increased on Friday when rival clubs in the Championship reacted angrily to confirmation by Bielsa that he had sanctioned covert scouting trips before every one of United’s league fixtures.
The Argentinian made the remark during a 66-minute media briefing at Leeds’ Thorp Arch training complex on Wednesday, a gathering which he hoped would quell the controversy surrounding the ‘Spygate’ saga.
United lead the Championship by a single point from Norwich, who closed the gap following Leeds’ defeat at Stoke City on Saturday. The sides are in direct competition for automatic promotion and Norwich are scheduled to visit Elland Road in two weeks’ time.
It is not clear what punishment Leeds could face if either the FA or the EFL decides to bring charges, through sources close to the matter have played down the likelihood of a points deduction.
A statement from Norwich said: “Following comments made by Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa this week, Norwich CIty and a number of Championship clubs have written to the EFL asking for full disclosure.”
Norwich are as yet the only club to confirm their involvement in the complaint, through Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown made his stance clear on Friday by calling for Leeds to be deducted points.