It emerged earlier that man a who was spotted acting suspiciously outside Derby County’s training centre was an employee of Leeds United.
The two teams have kicked off in a crucial Championship encounter that now has added tension. Derby notified police of the man’s presence, though no arrests were made.
Given this method of subterfuge, it was surprising to see that upon arriving at Elland Road tonight, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa openly admitted that he was ‘responsible’ for the controversy.
“I accept all responsibility for it,” Bielsa declared via his translator. “I’m the only one responsible for it, because I didn’t ask for the permission of Leeds to do it.”
“It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or illegal or right or wrong. For me it’s enough that Frank Lampard and Derby felt it was not the right thing to do.”
He went on to explain that it was a tactic he has used since his days as manager of Argentina.
“Without trying to find any form of justification, I have been using this practice since the  World Cup qualifications with Argentina.”
This explanation did not wash with Derby boss Frank Lampard, however.
“I don’t care if it’s a cultural thing. I’m not buying it,” Lampard responded.
“On a sportsman’s level, it’s bad. It’s disrupted our build-up to this game.”
"I don't care if it is cultural. I am not buying it." ?
Frank Lampard responds to Marcelo Bielsa admitting to sending a spy to Derby training.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 11, 2019