BARCELONA, Spain — Four West Bromwich Albion players were being investigated by Spanish police on Friday for the alleged theft of a taxi while the English Premier League team was training in Barcelona.
The players — Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore, Boaz Myhill — faced a judge after being accused by a taxi driver of stealing his vehicle early Thursday morning, Catalonia's regional police told The Associated Press. The driver said he was outside the vehicle at the time it was stolen.
Police said there was no violence involved in the incident that took place during the team's midwinter training trip.
The players involved issued a public apology.
"We freely acknowledge and apologize 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," they said in a joint statement.
West Brom is in last place in the Premier League, seven points from safety with 11 games remaining, after winning just one of its last 25 matches. West Brom's chairman and chief executive were fired this week after a 3-0 loss at Chelsea.
"We would like to assure our supporters," the four players added, "that this incident does not reflect the determination and resolve we possess to do all we can to recover a difficult season."
West Brom said the players "will be subject to the full rigours of our internal disciplinary procedures."
"It wasn't what we wanted," West Brom manager Alan Pardew said. "We've gone there to try to get ourselves ready and up for the run-in and this is obviously not ideal.
"They broke the curfew and that's unacceptable and I feel a bit let down by that."
West Brom plays Southampton in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.