St James' Park: Home of Newcastle United(credit: Wikipedia
Newcastle United pair Stephen Ireland and Leon Best will be punished for their nightclub antics.
Ireland and Best were photographed at a Newcastle venue last Friday night, just 24 hours before the team crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Stoke City.
The two players were already ruled out of the game with injury, but manager Alan Pardew has confirmed that they, along with reserve-team player Stephen Folan, did break club rules and will be disciplined over the incident.
Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: “All I want to say on that is that as Leon Best has travelled with (the Republic of) Ireland (national team), we've not faced each other yet.
“There will be discipline involved, for sure, but I want to see all three together in my office before I say anything more.”
Ireland and Best have apologised for the incident, releasing a statement that read: “We realise that going out to a bar was inappropriate ahead of Saturday's game and we fully regret doing so.
“We were asked to have our photograph taken and we removed our shirts as a tongue-in-cheek joke between friends, but of course the resulting coverage in the press suggests a far different night out.
“Whilst our actions were wrong, neither of us had consumed alcohol and we were out for only a very short period of time.
“However, with the team having an important game at Stoke the following day, we should never have put ourselves or the club in that position.”