Premier League: Four senior West Brom players apologise after allegedly stealing taxi in Barcelona
Four senior West Brom players apologised on Friday after being questioned by police in Spain over the theft of a taxi, an embarrassment which manager Alan Pardew described as 'not ideal'.
London: Four senior West Brom players apologised on Friday after being questioned by police in Spain over the theft of a taxi, an embarrassment which manager Alan Pardew described as "not ideal".
Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill admitted they had broken a team curfew when they took a taxi from Barcelona city centre at 5.30 am on Thursday morning.
"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," the four players said in a statement.
"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."
West Brom, who sit bottom of the Premier League, seven points adrift of safety, had been on a warm-weather training camp in the Catalan capital.
"We have gone there to try to get ourselves up and ready for this run-in, and this is obviously not ideal," said Baggies manager Pardew ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie against Southampton.
"They break a curfew, and that is unacceptable, and I feel a bit let down by that."
A Catalan police source confirmed the players had been questioned before returning to the UK.
The players' statements will be examined by an investigating judge, who will decide how the case will proceed.
Police confirmed the taxi had been returned to its owner.
Earlier this week the club sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman due to poor results on the field this season.
Real Madrid travel to Barcelona for the first Clasico of the LaLiga season with both clubs struggling to keep momentum.
This was a victory that sent Madrid five points clear of their opponents, a healthy gap even at this early stage of a LaLiga season that has 29 games to go.
The last time Barcelona failed to reach the knock-out stage of the Champions League was in 2003.