Sunday 21 October 2018

West Brom crisis deepens as players forced to apologise for 'stealing taxi' during warm-weather training in Barcelona

Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans

John Percy

West Bromwich Albion's troubled season has been plunged into deeper crisis after four senior players allegedly hijacked a taxi during a drunken night out on the club’s mid-winter training camp in Barcelona.

Club captain Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill have all made a grovelling apology for the bizarre incident which has heaped fresh embarrassment on the Premier League’s bottom club.

It can be revealed that:

  • The four players stole the taxi from outside a McDonald’s restaurant in the early hours of Thursday morning
  • The quartet were out until 5.30am, breaking a midnight curfew imposed by head coach Alan Pardew earlier that day
  • Spanish police say they will be called to court to answer charges.  
  • Pardew has now admitted he faces an uncertain future following the dismissal of chairman John Williams this week
  • Pardew was also robbed on Tuesday night, with thieves stealing his wallet and mobile phone

West Brom have launched an investigation into the incident, with the four players facing fines of two week’s wages, while Pardew’s decision to take his squad to Barcelona is now under closer scrutiny.

Pardew felt the warm-weather camp would have a galvanising effect on his struggling squad, with the club bottom of the table, but many sources have claimed the players were reluctant to go in the first place. One source even described the atmosphere as "rotten".

Now, however, Pardew’s future appears increasingly under threat after his four players became the latest Premier League footballers to embarrass abroad.

In a collective statement released on the club’s website, the players said: “We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to our team-mates, the head coach, the club and especially the supporters for the events which have been the subject of widespread and negative publicity.

“We felt it important we identify ourselves as the players involved in an incident which occurred during the training camp in Spain this week out of respect for team-mates who otherwise could be implicated by association.

“We freely acknowledge and apologise for the break of curfew which we accept represented a breach of the standards of professionalism required of us as representatives of West Bromwich Albion FC.

“The club has informed us that it will now conduct its own inquiry into the incident and we will co-operate fully.

“In the meantime, we would like to assure our supporters that this incident does not reflect the determination and resolve we possess to do all we can to recover a difficult season.”

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