West Brom players Gareth Barry, Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore, and Boaz Myhill were detained by local police in Barcelona yesterday after allegedly commandeering a taxi that had taken them from their hotel to a nearby McDonald’s drive-thru, driving the cab back to their hotel, and ditching the vehicle outside before returning to their rooms. The players have since publicly apologized for the incident.
The West Brom squad journeyed together out to Barcelona this week for a mid-season training camp. Details of the hijinks that ensued over in Catalonia were first reported by the Sun. Here is how the Sun’s report described the incident, which took place at around 6 a.m.:
A source said: “It appears the players had headed to the Barcelona Olympic Port but found everything closed so late on which is normal for midweek.
“They decided to take a taxi to a McDonald’s drive-through nearby and somehow and for some reason, left there in the cab but without the cab driver.
“The receptionist at the hotel they were staying at phoned police when she saw the taxi had been left unattended outside.
“Around the same time Mossos received a call from the stranded taxi driver.
“The four players who had got back to their hotel in the cab were taken to a local police station.”
None of the players were officially arrested, and all have since returned to England. A few hours after police questioned the players, the officers were able to reunite the poor cabbie with his car.
Not long after the story first broke, the club confirmed its knowledge of the affair and said it had opened an investigation. The Baggies’ official site then published a statement from the four players involved, which reads in part as follows:
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.
Truly a whopper of a tale, but at least it wasn’t as bad as when Leicester went to Thailand.