Derby County have confirmed that the man found spying on their training session yesterday was a Leeds United employee.
Police attended the Rams’ training ground and told boss Frank Lampard to halt training as they dealt with the extraordinary issue, as a member of Leeds’ footballing staff watched on from the perimeter.
The two Championship sides clash in a huge top-of-the-table clash on Friday night, with Derby looking for revenge after a 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture back in August.
This incident will only spice up proceedings and occurred after a man was seen near the perimeter fence with a pair of binoculars, a change of clothes and wire cutters.
The police moved in quickly due to safety fears and although the man was not arrested, enquiries have continued and Derby have confirmed they are in communication with Leeds about the incident.
“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,” A Derby statement read.
“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.”
It is not clear what punishment would be handed to Leeds if they are found guilty.
An EFL spokesperson said: “We are aware of the reports in relation to an incident at the training ground of Derby County.
“It is, of course, up to Derby County as to how they progress this matter but as of yet we have received no complaint or contact from the club.”
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
A Derbyshire police statement said: ‘Officers were called at around 11.20am on Thursday, January 10 to reports of a man acting suspiciously on Morley Road, Derby.
A man was found at the perimeter fence of Moor Farm training ground and spoken to. Officers conducted routine checks which were all above board.
‘Despite media reports, no damage to the fence was found, and the man was stopped outside the grounds.
‘No arrests were made and the man was sent on his way.’