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dylanisabaddog

Leeds and potential legal action

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City are one of 11 clubs who have expressed concern to the EFL about spying carried out by Leeds. There seem to be divided views about the spying but I am one of those who believe that Leeds wouldn't have gone to a lot of trouble to do it if they didn't gain an advantage. 

The interesting point is that the behaviour is in breech of a charter which all Championship clubs signed up to in summer 2018. If the EFL don't impose a points deduction and Leeds finish in the top 2 there is the possibility that clubs who narrowly miss out on promotion or the play off places will have grounds to sue for compensation. 

I'm pleased it's not just Norwich City that have been in contact with the football authorities. 

Edited by dylanisabaddog
Errors

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If you want to watch another Team train, knock on the door and ask. If they tell you to bu€€er off, don't think that skulking around footpaths and perimeter fences is an acceptable alternative, it isn't. 

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It's one of those, Leeds haven't covered themselves in glory but by complaining and moaning about it neither do we. All clubs do what they can to get an advantage and this seems like a pretty minor thing. 

 

The point has been made that painting the away dressing room pink was done to obtain an advantage, is that in the spirit of the charter? 

 

All in I think everyone is best served by just saying they won't do it again, give Bielsa a small fine and let's all move on.

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6 minutes ago, River End Canary said:

a bit petty by the club tbh.

But it's not honest though is it? And therein lies the issue.

If Leeds have gained a win advantage in only 10% of the games played so far, that is enough points gained to place them above the 7th placed team OUTSIDE of the playoff places. And this is where the chasing clubs have a legitimate and understandable complaint.

The financial implications are massively impactive to the other clubs and individuals and to many it is not petty by any standards.

I think it is right to 'express a concern' as many clubs have done so. NCFC are certainly not moaning about it publicly and are going about it the right way.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Jack Barak said:

It's one of those, Leeds haven't covered themselves in glory but by complaining and moaning about it neither do we. All clubs do what they can to get an advantage and this seems like a pretty minor thing. 

 

The point has been made that painting the away dressing room pink was done to obtain an advantage, is that in the spirit of the charter? 

 

All in I think everyone is best served by just saying they won't do it again, give Bielsa a small fine and let's all move on.

This.

It feels a bit petty and opportunistic by us and I think will only serve to motivate Leeds and create a siege mentality.

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I think it's absolutely right to express concern to the authorities rather than just roll over and let them get away with it.  It's for the League to deal with it properly, but we should stand up for ourselves and make sure they don't just ignore it.  Anything that's happens is Leeds' own fault for doing something so shabby.

 

It's the modern way that these things now end up in court, eg wasn't it West Ham who fielded an ineligible player ?

 

Likelihood is that it just ends up with a fine, but it's important to have it established as wrong to stop anyone doing the same in future.  Plus it will be a hassle for Leeds/Bielsa to deal with, which is a distraction, and that's their own fault.  They shouldn't simply be let off the hook.

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I don't think the authorities wagging a finger at Leeds sends the right message. They must establish that what has happened is not acceptable and that all other Clubs are aware, so no one is in any doubt that it will not be tolerated in the future. 

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If you think it's petty of us then that also means you think the other 10 clubs asking for it to be investigated are being petty too. They must feel it's more than a mild gripe.

It seems Bielsa has done this for years and I am not particularly concerned, especially given that we are in a good league position. However, the sort of shrouded way Leeds have gone about it (before that press conference) is a bit underhand and an investigation is warranted.

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I'm so glad we haven't done this. I would have been embarrassed for my club. What has stunned me is the reaction of their fans, ranging from the usual brush offs about how they will win the league anyway, how other clubs are hypocrites, comparisons with our pink away dressing room (yet this was up front in the press, not by subterfuge) and threats about post match violence when we visit Elland Rd.

You'd think if we had been involved in this, fans would have been extremely critical. It's a question of morality isn't it?

Too right though it's a distraction for them. And what is morally wrong ought to be challenged just because no law may have been broken. 

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34 minutes ago, It's Character Forming said:

I think it's absolutely right to express concern to the authorities rather than just roll over and let them get away with it.  It's for the League to deal with it properly, but we should stand up for ourselves and make sure they don't just ignore it.  Anything that's happens is Leeds' own fault for doing something so shabby.

 

It's the modern way that these things now end up in court, eg wasn't it West Ham who fielded an ineligible player ?

 

Likelihood is that it just ends up with a fine, but it's important to have it established as wrong to stop anyone doing the same in future.  Plus it will be a hassle for Leeds/Bielsa to deal with, which is a distraction, and that's their own fault.  They shouldn't simply be let off the hook.

I read somewhere that it was QPR who fielded an ineligible player when we were promoted in 2010/11. They only got a fine I believe.

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26 minutes ago, BobLoz3 said:

If you think it's petty of us then that also means you think the other 10 clubs asking for it to be investigated are being petty too.

Yep, pretty much.

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NCFC - indeed all clubs and supporters - should be seeking some sort of investigation and clarification into what happened, whoever it is that has done it. The fact it is Leeds is irrelevant. The whole thing appears to be unsavoury and completely against the agreement signed in the summer by all league clubs - it’s a good test to see if that actually meant anything.

And linking this Leeds thing - a systematic attempt to obtain information about other teams - to the colour of a dressing room is, quite frankly, pathetic.

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55 minutes ago, BobLoz3 said:

If you think it's petty of us then that also means you think the other 10 clubs asking for it to be investigated are being petty too. They must feel it's more than a mild gripe.

It seems Bielsa has done this for years and I am not particularly concerned, especially given that we are in a good league position. However, the sort of shrouded way Leeds have gone about it (before that press conference) is a bit underhand and an investigation is warranted.

Yes, I do. 

 

I don't think he is the only one and to be honest I struggle to see what is wrong with it particularly, I am more concerned about the massive disparity in finances that impacts the league and the move to involving agents in the running of clubs (Wolves). Taking binoculars to another clubs training ground is a minor issue compared to those.

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I'm kind of surprised that we did pursue it like this, given that Daniel Farke seemed to be dismissing the significance of it in the press conference after it had come to light. It feels like the club pursuing it like this is contradicting Farke's attitude to it. 

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I'm  sorry but I find the whole episode laughable. Bielsa looks a real wally for his obsessiveness and the rest of clubs look silly for making such a big deal about it. Points deduction? For what? I don't believe they have broken any league rules. Morally wrong? So shall we ask the league to punish Birmingham for maybe putting Buendia out of next match? We could lose and if we missed out on promotion by a point would we want retrospective action?

How do you define if Leeds have an advantage? They have a bigger income than Rotherham. Is that unfair? Of course not. And if you think watching your opponents train is worth employing people to do it then you are short on reality.

We all knew how Birmingham would approach our game (maybe not as violently) and it panned out just like that. 

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Leeds/Bielsa have done this because it isn't against the rules (afaik) but it is, imo at least, bending the ethics of a sporting contest.   Bielsa is using any legal measure he can to gain an advantage and personally I don't have too much of an issue with it.

Having said that I totally understand NCFC and the other ten clubs seeking information regarding what happened. I think it's important that a marker is laid down - so as to have clarification of what marginal advantages are acceptable.  I'd say the same thing if, in a hypothetical bout of extreme whataboutery, Leeds wrote to the league to ask about our away dressing room. 

It would be hilarious if Leeds got a point deduction though - just imagine their fans!

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I just think it needs squashing out of principle, because if it becomes the thing to do to spy on other clubs with binoculars and cameras, then everyone will start doing it.  It's rank amatuerism imo - as has been said, there is enough footage and information out there that spying is unecessary and frankly pretty pathetic.  But if Leeds want to be a laughing stock, far be it from me to want to stop them....

 

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Not so bad for us because we’re sitting pretty, but as another poster mentioned, if it’s gained Leeds even 10 points this season (whilst also taking away points that could well have been gained from play off chasers etc, let’s not forget), then the play off chasing clubs have every right to be annoyed and angered - this is a multi million pound business, not tiddlywinks with gran on Boxing Day.

R.e the dressing room comparison - absolute nonsense. All teams play home and away each season, and all generally make the home DR as state of the art as possible, and the visitors, not so much. So it’s upfront and both clubs will have an equal advantage during the course of the season. Comparisons to Leeds finding out that a team are planning system C, instead of their usual A or B, most certainly gives their guys every chance to plan for this, it’s not rocket science. People who condone this should only be from Yorkshire and Argentina.

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What was the point of the charter that all sides signed up to if one club simply ignore it?

What was done is not the same as watching previous games. As someone said we knew how Birmingham would set up before we played but we didn't know their formation, their lineup, if they were deciding to press high as we had showed signs of struggling with this tactic the past few games. Coaches work on this sort of thing all week, trying to devise tactics that would help during the match. Otherwise why are some coaches better than others and rise to the top of their profession?

I really can't see how any of this or petty or insignificant!

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Bielsa has announced his team a day or two before the game. The manager looks at Bielsas team and has a couple of days training specifically to counter that team.

Bielsa watches the training.

Some would call that genius,  others would banish him to Siberia. 

If 11 other teams are pushing the EFL / FA to act, then it could distract  / unsettle Leeds,  so all good as far as I'm concerned. 

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18 minutes ago, River End Canary said:

I suppose Ipswich didn’t complain but instead looked for tips from the spying  on how to improve their performance 

Then they found out you have to pay the spies and thought better of it.

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The alternative is that we send in FF in his Spider-Man outfit to do our spying

The club would then have plausible deniability ie he is just a fruit cake who happens to support Norwich 

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The EFL, just like the FA, bottle anything like this because they just want it to go away.

 

They will levy a punitive fine to say they've done something.

 

I reckon 50 grand will cover it and keep them in vol-au-vents for the next couple of AGMs.

 

You heard it here first.

Edited by Drazen Muzinic

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3 hours ago, Jack Barak said:

It's one of those, Leeds haven't covered themselves in glory but by complaining and moaning about it neither do we. All clubs do what they can to get an advantage and this seems like a pretty minor thing. 

Knowing that a certain key player for Derby wasn't going to play as they'd set up in training without him doesn't seem like a pretty minor thing to me. It has given Leeds a very specific piece of info and given them a definite advantage. 

I'm not suggesting a points deduction is appropriate - that's for the league to decide. But it's definitely cheating and has given them an unfair advantage. 

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3 hours ago, River End Canary said:

Storm in a tea cup, you just have to watch past matches to see how Farke sets out his teams and how he uses subs/changes tactics etc 

a bit petty by the club tbh.

delia out 

So how would watching our previous games in regards the Birmingham game have told you who was going to be playing as close supporters we had no idea. We even could have dropped to 5 at the back. Our warm ups would also have shown falling into lots of different formations for particular circumstances. We changed everything big time in the 2nd half and used a system I had not seen before. A prime example is the Derby game where Leeds were aware that Wilson was not playing - this was not in the public domain. This could easily effect your own tactics.

if all EFL clubs signed a charter at the beginning of the season if this sort of behaviour was not a concern why would there be a charter ? I don’t get why it is not serious or do you think  that all EFL clubs sign a charter and 1 club breaks the charter week after week but they have not done anything wrong ?

A punishment I think would be all Leeds sessions to be open to their next opponents.

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They're not going to fine Leeds because they haven't broken the rules.  Leeds would appeal any fine or points deduction and they'd win in any court you choose. Is it against the spirit of the game? sure. Is it and illegal and punishable offence? no. Nothing is going to be done about it because nothing can be done about it. Next season the rules will be updated to specifically address the issue, and if anyone does it then, they'll be punished for it. But this time round, regardless of whether people think it's acceptable or not, there's nothing that can be done. If we're demanding action against Leeds, that's pretty ridiculous and a waste of everyone's time; If we're registering our displeasure officially and asking the EFL to fix this loophole for next season then it makes sense. 

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Agreed Fuzzar, I don't think this is petty at all. There is a reason why Bielsa is going over and above to do this.

You can watch real game football to get a good idea of how a team generally plays and the manager's preferred style of play, sure. But spying on the team training before the game gives a distinct idea as to how that team is going to set up for that fixture; what areas they are going to target, how they are going to defend, how they are going to take set pieces, which players are injured and which aren't etc. I'm sure if any manager could obtain this information before a game they would (without spying..).

Remember in the Prem under Lambert when we played Newcastle at home. It was well documented going into that game that they did not have any of their first choice centre backs available (or something along those lines). Lambert obviously knew this, so played Holt and Morrison together upfront and we smashed them 4-2. Now, imagine that it wasn't in public knowledge that any centre backs would be missing, and Lambert had organised spies to target Newcastle training - where he found this information and made the same tactical decision to counter this. Seems pretty unfair to me. I know this is an extreme example, but consider that Bielsa has been doing this for EVERY game so far this season. Surely this has earnt him a fair few points along the way.

I'm not sure how deep an investigation will go but it will definitely be interesting to see if the extent of the spy findings is revealed. I also doubt they will be docked points unfortunately but it would be pretty funny if they are.

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4 hours ago, Jack Barak said:

Yes, I do. 

 

I don't think he is the only one and to be honest I struggle to see what is wrong with it particularly, I am more concerned about the massive disparity in finances that impacts the league and the move to involving agents in the running of clubs (Wolves). Taking binoculars to another clubs training ground is a minor issue compared to those.

So by your logic, if you caught a 9 year old stealing candy from a store, and that kid said they’d done many times before, you’d just leave them be? 

A minor issue is best dealt with when it is exactly that, minor. Left unchecked this could end up having three or four bucket trucks from different clubs parked outside our training ground with people watching from 30’ in the air.

Just because this situation isn’t as ‘bad’ as others in the sport is no reason to ignore it.

Slap it on the wrist now. Slap it hard.

 

 

Edited by CirclePoint

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