‘Taxi stealing’ West Brom quartet likely to escape charge

A Spanish court has decided not to pursue a case against the four West Brom players who allegedly stole a taxi in Barcelona last week, according to reports.

Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill were involved in an incident while the club was away on a warm-weather training camp and team-bonding exercise.

They were interviewed by local police at the time, but the quartet appear set to escape punishment because there is insufficient evidence to continue with the case, which, reports say, has been provisionally dismissed but could be reopened if new evidence comes to light.

West Brom were unavailable for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport.

The four players apologised for breaking a curfew in a collective statement on Friday, but West Brom manager Alan Pardew has said he was left “furious” by the incident.

Events in Barcelona increased the heat on Pardew, whose position has been the subject of speculation in the wake of boardroom upheaval and poor results on the pitch.

Pardew named both Evans and Barry in his starting line-up for the FA Cup fifth-round defeat by Southampton at The Hawthorns on Saturday, although Evans was stripped of the captaincy.

Pardew is set to decide this week whether to give the armband back to the former Manchester United defender or permanently remove it.

Since Pardew took charge towards the end of November, West Brom have won just three of 17 matches in all competitions and are bottom of the Premier League, seven points adrift of 17th-placed Huddersfield, whom they host in a crucial clash at the weekend.

Pardew’s position was weakened last week while in Barcelona with the news that Chinese owner Guochuan Lai had sacked chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman, who were both instrumental in appointing the 56-year-old.