Derby County have confirmed police found a member of staff at Leeds United “acting suspiciously” outside their training ground.
Frank Lampard’s men are set to face Championship leaders Leeds on Friday night, with the Rams looking to increase the gap between themselves and Nottingham Forest in seventh.
Who was the ‘spy’ outside Derby’s training ground? Four key things to know…
- Derby and Leeds are set to face off in the Championship on Friday night.
- With Derby preparing ahead of the match a man “acting suspiciously” was caught outside the Ram’s training ground on Thursday.
- The man has since been confirmed as a member of Leeds United’s “footballing staff”.
- Derby have confirmed they have contacted Leeds about the incident, though no reply has been given.
With Lampard leading a session on Thursday in the build up to the game, the Twitter account for Derbyshire Constabulary’s Response Unit confirmed a man had been found by the perimeter fence of Derby’s training ground.
Officers have just attended the Training Ground for @dcfcofficial After a suspicious male was seen at the perimeter fence. Excellent searching conducted & male was located. All checks above board!
Keeping the team safe to bring home a win against #LUFC on 11th! #SpyingIsCheating pic.twitter.com/a12Zj8gISX
— Derby Response Unit – Derbyshire Constabulary (@DerbyResponse) January 10, 2019
The tweet hinted at potential pre-match espionage, with the hashtag “SpyingIsCheating” included at the end.
And now, Derby have confirmed it was in fact a member of Leeds’ staff found lurking outside the Rams’ training ground.
A statement released on Derby’s official website read: “Derby County Football Club can confirm that officers from the Derbyshire Constabulary were called to the Derby County Training Centre at around 11:20am on Thursday 10th January 2019 following reports of a man acting suspiciously outside the premises.
“It has since been confirmed to Derby County that the individual concerned is an employee of the footballing staff at Leeds United Football Club.
“The club is now in discussion with Leeds United club officials in relation to this incident.
“At this time no further comment will be made.”
Leeds are yet to release a statement of their own, replying to the claims.
Derby are currently eight points behind Leeds ahead of Friday night’s match, and lost the corresponding fixture at the start of the season 4-1 at Pride Park.
Frank Lampard’s Derby County
Derby County have very much been the nearly-men of the Championship over the past few years, often falling at the final hurdles keeping them from returning to the Premier League.
The Rams have made a positive start under Frank Lampard so far, with 43 points from 26 Championship games. But that has been the case in seasons past, with the end of the campaign Derby’s weakness.
When Derby and Leeds last met, the Rams were blown away from Marcelo Bielsa’s side and will need a positive result if they wish to continue in the play-off places.
Derby also reached the fourth round of the Carabao Cup beating Manchester United at Old Trafford before going out to Lampard’s old club Chelsea, while also drawing with Southampton in the third round of the FA Cup.