Top clubs in ‘board-level talks’ over FPL injury leaks as Aston Villa impose ban

Premier League clubs up and down the country are holding crunch talks over the problems Fantasy Football poses.

Aston Villa fell foul of the popular game which has over eight million players for the official Premier League version alone.

Jack Grealish’s leg issue suffered in the week ahead of their pivotal clash with Leicester at Villa Park had spread on social media before the team sheets were exchanged.

Dean Smith spoke after the 2-1 loss how the leaked news on Grealish would have given the Foxes a boost and important team knowledge for their match preparations.

An investigation has been launched by the club into how the leak spread, but FPL teams within their camp appear to be the cause.

On Friday, Twitter account FPL Insider posted how three Villa players – Matt Targett, Conor Hourihane and Neil Taylor – had all transferred midfielder Grealish out of their teams, as well as a club performance analyst and a physio.

As a result, The Times say Villa’s hierarchy have now banned players and staff from the platform.

Club chiefs know that is not the only way for such info to be released, but it does pose a real problem for teams throughout the top-flight.

The Athletic report some Premier League clubs are now discussing Fantasy Football at board level, such is the seriousness of the potential leaks which can damage teams’ chances of winning games.

It is suggested clubs are considering asking players and staff members not to pick their own players.

Doing so does potentially give away crucial information to opponents before games.

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  • And while there is no suggestion bans will be imposed at other clubs, Villa have acted swiftly off the back of Sunday’s defeat to their European qualification rivals.

    Villa were not the only club impacted by Fantasy Football this weekend.

    Leeds captain Liam Cooper transferred out regular starter Ezgjan Alioski ahead of Friday’s 1-0 loss at Wolves – a game which the versatile full-back did not make the first XI for.

    At the end of January, Sadio Mane’s injury had been kept in-house by Liverpool before their important clash with West Ham at the London Stadium.

    But Andy Robertson had transferred the star out of his team, which led to the rumours of his absence spreading on social media too prior to the match.

    Premier League player and staff leagues are not easy to find on the FPL website, but once uncovered, they are free to access and check for changes made.

    Fans also spread the website links to certain leagues with professional players online, due to the overwhelming curiosity and ‘insider knowledge’ their teams bring.

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