Leeds owner apologises to rival Derby over 'spying'

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The owner of Leeds United has said sorry to his counterpart at Derby County after he admitted spying on his rival.

Andrea Radrizzani met with Derby County’s owner Mel Morris to formally apologise for the actions of Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Image: Andrea Radrizzani met with Derby County’s owner Mel Morris

Derby County called police on Thursday morning following reports that a man was “acting suspiciously” on the perimeter of their training ground, ahead of the teams’ clash in the Championship, which Leeds won 2-0.

Bielsa said he spoke to Derby manager Frank Lampard after the incident but added that he had used such tactics for several years.

Marcelo Bielsa

Image: Leeds says Marcelo Bielsa said he had used the tactic for years

The former Argentina manager said: “I am the only one responsible for it, because I didn’t ask for the permission of Leeds to do it.

“Without trying to find a justification, I have been using this kind of practice since the qualifiers for the World Cup with Argentina.

“It is not illegal, we have been doing it publicly and we talk about it in the press.

“For some people, it’s the wrong thing to do and for other people, it’s not the wrong thing to do.”

Frank Lampard, Manager of Derby County

Image: Frank Lampard, manager of Derby County, has spoken to Bielsa about the incident

Leeds said in a statement on Saturday: “Following comments made by Marcelo Bielsa yesterday the club will look to work with our head coach and his staff to remind them of the integrity and honesty which are the foundations that Leeds United is built on.

“Our owner Andrea Radrizzani has met with Derby County’s owner Mel Morris to formally apologise for Marcelo’s actions.

“We will make no further comment on this matter.”

Bielsa is known for his meticulous planning and attention to detail when preparing his teams for matches.

More from Leeds

The man at the ground on Thursday was escorted away by police and Derby manager Frank Lampard stopped training until the incident was over.

Lampard said what had happened was “bad” and had “disrupted” Derby’s build-up to the game and it had also occurred when the two teams met earlier in the season, which they lost 4-1.

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