Aston Villa ban players from participating in Fantasy Premier League
Three first-team players had removed the England star from their Fantasy Premier League lineups
Aston Villa players have been banned from playing Fantasy Premier League, according to a source from within the club.
It comes after an injury to Jack Grealish was leaked prior to the club's game against Leicester City.
Many people had noticed that Villa players with Fantasy Premier League teams had removed the England star from their starting lineups.
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".
NEW: Aston Villa ban players from taking part in fantasy football following Grealish injury leak https://t.co/aPjBWYKbOj
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) February 22, 2021
Each week, you are allowed to make a limited number of free transfers to your Fantasy Premier League team before the gameweek deadline. This deadline is usually a couple of hours before the first match of the weekend.
Last weekend's deadline occurred just before Wolves versus Leeds United kicked off.
Around this time, a Twitter user named FPL Insider revealed that three Villa players - Matt Targett, Neil Taylor and on-loan Swansea midfielder Conor Hourihane "all transferred him [Grealish] out of their Fantasy Premier League sides".
An Aston Villa performance analyst and club physio are also believed to have made the switch.
Realising the risk this could pose to leaking potential lineups, Villa officials appear to have taken the step of banning players from participating in the game.
While club officials accept the Grealish injury could have been leaked any number of ways, they think it is "inappropriate that potential insider knowledge could be used in the game".
A source within the club 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 yesterday's 2-1 defeat at home to Leicester, Villa boss Dean Smith said the club would be investigating the possible leak of confidential squad information.
"I was made aware on social media there were rumours he was not going to play," said Dean Smith.
"If that is coming out of our training ground I will find out where it is coming from and reprimand whoever it is coming from.
"It is something I would not be happy with."
Grealish missed training on Wednesday, although the status of his injury was only confirmed to the squad on Friday.
His absence from the game against Leicester ended an impressive run of 48 consecutive Premier League starts for the boyhood Villa fan.