Best and Ireland apologise
Newcastle pair Leon Best and Stephen Ireland have issued an apology to the club and its supporters.
Last Updated: 21/03/11 7:37pm
Newcastle pair Leon Best and Stephen Ireland have issued an apology to the club and its supporters after being pictured at a nightclub on Friday evening.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew said following Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Stoke that he was going to investigate the incident after Best and Ireland were spotted at the Tup Tup Palace in Newcastle the previous evening.
The striker and midfielder had been ruled out of the trip to the Britannia Stadium, but Pardew was unimpressed and the pair now accept that going to a bar was 'inappropriate'.
A statement from Best and Ireland released through Newcastle read: "Although we had both been ruled out of the game at Stoke and didn't travel with the team, 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."