Sun, Mar 03, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Redknapp denies team was partying at training camp

Reuters, LONDON

Queens Park Rangers (QPR) manager Harry Redknapp has rejected allegations that several players from his Premier League bottom side often stayed out until 5am drinking alcohol at a training camp in Dubai last month.

Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper quoted three unnamed players as saying the training camp descended into farce with one saying it was more like a “stag party.”

Redknapp, whose side are seven points adrift at the bottom of the English top flight and looking on the verge of relegation, confirmed he had stayed in a different hotel to the squad, but was incredulous about the allegations.

“If it happened they must have done something I didn’t see. I don’t believe what you’re saying. I can’t see it,” former Tottenham Hotspur boss Redknapp told the newspaper.

QPR, owned by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, had a terrible start to the season under Mark Hughes, but results have failed to pick up significantly since Redknapp replaced him in November last year.

They have won twice in 27 league games, despite spending big on transfers.

“Dubai was a week when we had the chance to sort out the problems. Everybody wanted to do that, but we ended up going there for a holiday. It would have been better if we’d stayed here in London,” one unnamed player was quoted as saying by the Mirror.

“In the evening some players were out, until 3am, 4am, 5am — and then went to training at 8am. It was like a stag party,” he added.

Another unnamed player was equally scathing.

“Some of the bar bills were enormous, huge, in the tens of thousands of pounds for one night. Two or three players couldn’t train the next day. It was that bad,” he was quoted as saying.

“We have to take the blame for what we did. We know that. But some of us think that if the manager had been in the same hotel he could have controlled what was going on,” he added.

“What sort of club allows a team with 17 points and only two wins all season go and do this? It’s impossible to survive like that and so this club isn’t going to survive,” the player said.

The club was unavailable for comment when contacted.

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