MARCELO BIELSA phoned Frank Lampard to confess to spying on his training sessions – and Derby claim to have proof they did it before.
Bielsa admitted that he orchestrated the espionage in the build-up to Friday night’s clash, saying: “I’m responsible.”
Leeds boss Bielsa called Lampard on Thursday to admit he had personally ordered a member of staff to sneak into the Rams training ground to gain secret tactical knowledge.
Bielsa said on Sky Sports: “It’s true there was someone from Leeds United.
“The responsibility for this lies with me. I’m responsible.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or illegal, or right or wrong.
“For me it’s enough that Frank Lampard and Derby County feel it was not the right thing to do and that I didn’t behave well.”
But SunSport can reveal it is not the first time they caught the spy hiding in the bushes – he was also rumbled two days before the sides clashed earlier in the season.
Earlier in his career the controversial boss used to employ local players in Argentina to scale fences and spy on opponents before matches against his Newell’s Old Boys side.
Now the Rams fear he is doing it again in this country, with Leeds benefiting as they sat top of the Championship before Friday night’s clash with Derby.
Police burst onto the Derby training ground on Thursday as Lampard was coming to the end of the crucial session with his players, in which he set up the side and worked on the shape and tactics.
They had been alerted by a call from residents of houses behind the Rams HQ, who had spotted a man acting strangely in the bushes carrying binoculars and wire cutters.
A source told SunSport: “The security guy there with them recognised the guy from someone they caught in the bushes at the beginning of the season.
“Everyone just thought he was a weirdo.
“When they looked into it a bit more because we recognised him, they found out the car is registered to Leeds United, it’s their club car.
“Then the manager got a call from someone who said he was the interpreter with Bielsa, that he wanted to read a letter to him.
“He reads Frank this letter basically just saying ‘I take full responsibility for my member of staff, sending him to watch your training today. It was because of me.’”
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It was only then that Derby looked into the date of the previous time they caught the man in the bushes – and was stunned to discover it was on August 9, two days before they were beaten 4-1 at Leeds in the second match of the season.
The source added: “We found the guy twice – both times we played them. What about the other clubs who haven’t got good security, good local police or residents that saw something weird.
“Whether it holds much bearing on the results is irrelevant. It’s cheating.
“The rest of the league should be going ‘hold on a minute, what’s going on?’.
“We’ve caught some body both times we’re playing them – it’s the same guy, they are admitting sending him.”