Date: 12th January 2019 at 7:30am
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Stan Collymore has insisted the FA should throw the book at and make them replay their fixture against Derby County as punishment for their spying tactics.

The Football Association have opened an investigation into the saga after Marcelo Bielsa admitted he had given permission for a club employee to spy on Derby’s training session on Thursday ahead of his side’s 2-0 win at Elland Road on Friday night.

Broadcaster and high-profile pundit Collymore insisted that Leeds should face heavy sanctions as their actions threatened the integrity of the Championship.

In eight early-morning posts on his personal Twitter account, Collymore insisted the result should be “null and void” due to the “significant disruption” Derby faced and Leeds should be sanctioned “for unsporting behaviour and at a minimum be made to replay the fixture, a fine for Bielsa and club”.

OPINION

It is hard to escape the conclusion that Leeds’ actions were against the spirit of the competition and that it disrupted Derby in the build-up to the match. It is certainly likely to be more common than some claim, and you can bet your life that plenty of top-level club officials are scouting opponents incognito ahead of matches to try and assess strengths and weaknesses of opponents before matches, and gain an advantage. Collymore goes too far by claiming the result should be null and void, and the match replayed. That is a punishment too severe and too radical. But, certainly, Bielsa must be hauled over the coals by the authorities and given sanctions – perhaps a three-match dugout ban – to make it clear that what he did is deemed unacceptable in English football and can’t happen again. Bielsa is a smart and thorough man who has made a big impact in English football, but he has gone too far on this occasion and the book should be thrown at him to prevent a repeat.