What City and fellow Championship clubs want to unearth in Bielsa spying probe
Norwich City are NOT demanding a points deduction for Championship promotion rivals Leeds United over the spying revelations centred around Whites’ boss Marcelo Bielsa.
The Canaries, however, are among 11 clubs in the second tier who have written to the Football League following Bielsa’s admission he sanctioned widespread spying on league rivals.
The communiqué sent to EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey calls for ‘full disclosure’ around the specific nature of Leeds’ actions and whether they contravene the EFL club’s charter agreed last summer.
Concerned Championship clubs want to unearth the extent of Bielsa’s spying network around training grounds, the tactics employed, and the potential impact regarding the integrity of the competition.
The collective action from 11 Championship teams followed an original complaint lodged by Derby County, which prompted the EFL to formally open an investigation and pledge to work closely with the FA.
Both the EFL and the FA have indicated they are looking into the matter, after a member of Bielsa’s backroom team was spotted at Derby County’s training ground ahead of their recent league meeting.
The experienced coach then held a press briefing prior to his side’s trip to the Potteries in which he indicated it was not an isolated act but part of his extensive scouting preparations.
A report in the Mail on Sunday claimed any potential sanctions would centre around whether Bielsa’s behaviour constitutes improper conduct.
City released a statement on Sunday which read: ‘Following the comments made by Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa, Norwich City and a number of Championship clubs have written to the EFL asking for full disclosure.’
Norwich moved within a point of the leaders after a 3-1 home win over Birmingham City on Friday coupled with a 2-1 defeat for the Argentine’s side at Stoke.
Daniel Farke takes his squad to a sold out Elland Road early next month for a promotion clash, but there is believed to be no desire on the part of the Canaries to push for a points deduction as part of any possible punishment.
The EFL made its position clear last week.
A statement read: ‘The EFL has now determined that it is appropriate to consider this matter in the context of a number of EFL Regulations whilst also noting that the alleged actions appear to contravene the Club’s Charter that all EFL clubs agreed to in summer 2018.
“The decision to progress this matter to a formal investigation comes as a result of the club’s manager, Marcelo Bielsa, admitting to instructing an individual to undertake the acts being complained of in a television interview broadcast on Sky Sports on January 11.
“The Football Association has also confirmed they are considering the same matter in line with its own rules and the EFL will work with its FA counterparts to ensure that any potential action taken does not prejudice those investigations being undertaken.”