West Bromwich Albion players Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill have admitted to breaking a curfew that sparked tabloid controversy during their training break in Barcelona and left drew criticism from manager Alan Pardew.
The Premier League's bottom club announced on Friday that they had launched an investigation into an "incident" during the training break, involving four senior professionals who were later identified as Evans, Barry, Livermore and Myhill.
According to The Sun newspaper, the group allegedly drove off in a taxi from a McDonald's drive-through without the driver and abandoned the car outside their hotel.
The report claimed the players were taken to a police station in Barcelona but not arrested in relation to the incident, which is said to have taken place at around 05:30 local time.
Pardew addressed a media conference to preview Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round clash with Southampton after the story broke and refused to be drawn on the finer details.
Asked whether he knew what had occurred, Pardew replied: "No, that's why we're having an investigation into it and we've put that statement out to stop some to of the speculation flying around.
"It wasn't what we've wanted. We went there to try and get us up for this run-in and this isn’t ideal
"They've broken a curfew and that's unacceptable. I feel let down by that."
A reporter then asked whether a taxi was involved and Pardew responded: "We've got an investigation into that so I'm not going put anything on that [rumour].
"There was a curfew on that evening and it was broken. That's all I'm going to comment on the rest of it.
"I think the club is clear that it wants to investigate it properly and we want to concentrate on the game tomorrow. It's a very, very important game. We have to respond with a performance."
Later on Friday, West Brom released a statement on behalf of Evans, Barry, Livermore and Myhill confirming they were the players involved while apologising for their actions.
"We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to our team-mates, the head coach, the club and especially the supporters for the events which have been the subject of widespread and negative publicity," the statement said.
"We felt it important we identify ourselves as the players involved in an incident which occurred during the training camp in Spain this week out of respect for team-mates who otherwise could be implicated by association.
"We freely acknowledge and apologise 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 FC.
"The club has informed us that it will now conduct its own inquiry into the incident and we will co-operate fully.
"In the meantime, we would like to assure our supporters that this incident does not reflect the determination and resolve we possess to do all we can to recover a difficult season."
Albion have endured a dismal run on and off the field that leaves them five points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League, seven points from safety.
Forward Jay Rodriguez is being investigated by the Football Association over allegedly racially abusing Brighton and Hove Albion defender Gaetan Bong. Rodriguez denies any wrongdoing and has pledged to clear his name.
Earlier this week, West Brom chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman were sacked by owner Guochuan Lai.