After finalising its investigations into the incident at Derby County’s training ground on Thursday 10 January, the EFL reached the conclusion that the conduct undertaken by Leeds United in observing opponents’ training sessions, is a breach of Regulation 3.4.
Regulation 3.4 provides that ‘in all matters and transactions relating to the League, each Club shall behave towards each other Club and The League with the utmost good faith.’
Leeds United has fully co-operated with the EFL’s inquiries and following a comprehensive review of all the evidence provided, the Club has now formally admitted a breach of Regulation 3.4.
As a consequence the Club has been fined £200,000 (inclusive of a contribution to costs) and received a formal reprimand and warning to the effect that the Club’s conduct fell significantly short of the standards expected by the EFL and must not be repeated.
In addition, Leeds United has agreed to support a new EFL Regulation that make it clear that Clubs will be expressly prohibited from viewing opposition training in the 72 hours immediately prior to a fixture, unless invited to do so.
The EFL has informed all the Championship Clubs, who sought additional clarification regarding the conduct of Leeds United, of the findings that relate to their Club.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “The regulatory requirement to act in ‘utmost good faith’ was brought into EFL Regulations two years ago and was bolstered in 2018 by the introduction of the Club Charter, which sets out in more detail the standards of behaviour expected of member Clubs.
“The facts of this particular case were not ones we would have expected - and have to deal with a complaint about - and it is clearly impossible to have a specific set of Regulations that will apply in all circumstances of poor conduct, so, this charge was brought under a general Regulation. In doing this, the EFL has demonstrated we have appropriate provisions in place to protect our competitions and apply to all Clubs.
“The sanctions imposed highlight how actions such as this cannot be condoned and act as a clear deterrent should any Club seek to undertake poor conduct in the future. I would like to thank Leeds United for their assistance in helping to bring this matter to a conclusion as quickly as was practically possible.
“We will now look to move on from this incident and commence the discussions about introducing a specific Regulation at a meeting with all Clubs later this month.”
A Leeds United spokesperson said: “We accept that whilst we have not broken any specific rule, we have fallen short of the standard expected by the EFL with regards to regulation 3.4.
“We apologise for acting in a way that has been judged culturally unacceptable in the English game and would like to thank Shaun Harvey and the EFL for the manner in which they conducted their investigations.
“Our focus can now return to matters on the field.”