Chris Wilder reacts to Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa's revelation

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa watches on  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on January 11, 2019 in Leeds, England.

Chris Wilder defended Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa over the spying controversy that has dominated the headlines in the last few days.

Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder after the Sky Bet Championship match between Ipswich Town and Sheffield United at Portman Road on December 22, 2018 in Ipswich, England.

Chris Wilder told Sky Sports News (broadcast on 12/1; 10:51 pm) that far too much has been made of the incident involving Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa sending a member of his staff to watch Derby train ahead of Friday's meeting between the two clubs.

As reported by Sky News, Bielsa admitted that he was responsible after an employee at Elland Road was caught trying to watch the Rams' training session.

 

The admission sparked a bizarre divide amongst the footballing world, with many insisting that much of the reaction was over the top as some pundits called for serious sanctions and even points deductions for the Championship leaders.

But Bielsa has found another ally following the controversy, and it is perhaps a surprising one. Wilder insisted that he would not use similar tactics, but argued that he cannot understand why such a big deal is being made of the incident. 

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa and Derby County manager Frank Lampard watch on during the second half during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at...

"Far too much has been made of it. I think Leeds United have been very, very clever," he told Sky Sports.

"It's obviously not something that I would do. I think they've used it to their advantage. They have this attitude which we understand being in Yorkshire, that nobody likes them and I think that nobody likes them a little more. I think the manager's been very, very clever in taking full responsibility. I've got to say that it's been going on for 30, 40, 50 years in different scenarios, managers trying to find out the team before the game and I think it's been blown up a little bit too much really."

As time has moved on, it does appear that more and more people within the football world are playing down the idea that Leeds have done anything particularly special, with many arguing that it is a more common practice than some would believe.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa watches on during the first half during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Derby County at Elland Road on January 11, 2019 in Leeds,...

Even some of those who were particularly critical of Leeds seem to have softened their opinions slightly now that the dust is starting to settle. 

It remains to be seen what punishment is handed to Bielsa or the club, but following Wilder's claim that it is something that has been going on for years, it is difficult to see how the authorities can justify being particularly harsh on the Blades' promotion rivals. 

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