Aston Villa have officially banned their players and staff from playing Fantasy Premier League after information regarding Jack Grealish’s injury was leaked last week ahead of the defeat to Leicester City.
Rumours of the talismanic captain's injury and unavailability surfaced on social media 48 hours before the game leading a concerned Dean Smith vowing to find the culprit responsible.
Twitter account, FPL Insider, posted on Friday that Grealish had been transferred out of their teams by three Villa players, Matt Targett, Conor Hourihane, and Neil Taylor, and a club performance analyst and a physio.
Martyn Ziegler of The Times said Villa "club chiefs don't believe that players subbing him was the reason for the leak - they think it's inappropriate that potential insider knowledge could be used in the game".
A number of top-flight players have been playing FPL for years, but teams are now concerned that news of their transfers each week becomes public knowledge and could give away vital team news.
A Villa insider is reported to have told The Times: “A number of the younger players have Fantasy Premier League sides and have been told in no uncertain terms not to continue to play them due to the potential insider knowledge element."
After the 2-1 defeat to Leicester, an unhappy Villa boss said that he is eager to find the source of the leak. “I’ve been made aware that on social media there’d been rumours that he wasn’t going to play,” he said.
“If it’s coming out of our training ground then I will find out where that’s coming from and reprimand where it’s coming from. It’s something I wouldn’t be happy with and we’ll get to the bottom of it.”