Fomer Leeds director admits to installing cameras

09 May 2014 08:56

Former Leeds managing director David Haigh has admitted to overseeing the installation of surveillance equipment at Elland Road, but only after receiving reports of Class A drug use in the boardroom.

Haigh made the claims on Thursday having attended a voluntary interview with West Yorkshire Police.

Haigh left Leeds on April 11 after the club was taken over by Italian Massimo Cellino. Earlier the same day it was confirmed by police that they were investigating the surveillance equipment which was discovered by Cellino.

The presence of the cameras themselves in the boardroom and toilets was not enough to prompt a criminal probe, but allegations they were purchased as a result of a misappropriation of club funds were.

A short statement from his solicitor, Olliers, said: "David Haigh attended a voluntary police interview today to assist the police in connection with an issue relating to the purchase of technical equipment by the club whilst he was managing director.

"The equipment was installed at Mr Haigh's behest in an attempt to get to the bottom of rumours of drug taking by individuals connected to the club."

West Yorkshire Police later confirmed they had spoken to Haigh.

A more thorough statement from a spokesman for Haigh claimed that the 36-year-old had been trying to do the right thing.

It read: ''David has today given a full statement to police officers investigating complaints made to West Yorkshire Police by the new majority shareholders of Leeds United FC that surveillance devices were found at various locations, including the boardroom, at Elland Road.

''As the former managing director of the club, David was fully aware of the installation of these devices which were quite properly paid for by the club.

"They were put in place following reports which he received between the end of January and early March this year alleging the recent misuse of Class A drugs in and around the boardroom. One of these reports was made by police.

''It was, and remains, David's view that not to have taken action to seek to provide evidence against the alleged perpetrators would have been in breach of his duty as a fit and proper person to be handling the day-to-day running of a Football League club.

''David is of the firm belief that illegal drugs have no place in football, whether it be on the pitch or in the boardroom. He will continue to co-operate fully with any police or other enquiries.''

Haigh resigned from his position citing comments made by Cellino as a key reason.

Cellino was heavily critical of Haigh in a conversation with a supporter which he did not know was being recorded, while also telling The Sun that he intended to sack him. Haigh had been set to become Leeds' chief executive under Cellino.

Cellino completed a 75 per cent buy-out of Leeds from Gulf Finance House Capital in April after a long period of turbulence.

Haigh, who previously worked for GFHC, saw his own takeover bid for the club collapse in January and then ushered in the bid of Cellino.

Despite leaving Elland Road almost a month ago, Haigh remains a key figure with regards to the club's future. The company which he was looking to buy Leeds with, Sport Capital, made two loans to the club in November 2013.

One loan of £825,000 is understood to have been repaid but the non-payment of one of £950,000 has seen a winding-up order issued by Sport Capital, which is due to be heard in court on June 9.

No-one from Leeds was able to comment about the allegations.

Source: PA