• Premier League

QPR issue 'no comment' on Dubai 'stag party'

ESPN staff
March 2, 2013
Harry Redknapp is focused on Southampton © Getty Images

QPR have declined to comment on a story in the Daily Mirror newspaper that claims their recent training camp in Dubai turned into a glorified "stag party".

A source alleged the first-team squad trained for 90 minutes each morning before spending the rest of their time racking up enormous bar bills and partying until the early hours of the morning.

The club's head of media and communications Ian Taylor, speaking ahead of QPR's game against Southampton on Saturday, said they were concentrating solely on the match.

"The club is aware of the article in today's Daily Mirror but the club's entire focus is on today's fixture against Southampton. We will be making no further comment at this time," he tweeted.

QPR have won two games all season and took their squad off for some warm-weather training after their 5-1 defeat at Swansea, but according to the paper, it turned into nothing but a glorified holiday.

A source said: "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.

"We had training very early in the morning. We'd start at 8am and be finished, every day, by 9.30 at the latest. It was very warm and after that we would just go out.

"Then in the evening some players were out, until 3am, 4am, 5am - and then went to training at 8am. It was like a stag party. Some looked at it as if we had a five-day holiday. It wasn't one or two of us. That's the problem."

Redknapp is said to have stayed in a different hotel to the players, who were preparing for an intensive training camp to try to instil some confidence and belief in their beleaguered squad as they try to pull off a great escape from relegation.

But a senior first-team member told the newspaper: "I've never known anything like what happened in Dubai. We had all day to ourselves. That meant shopping, the pool, nightclubs. We were on holiday, it was just a party.

"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. 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. 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."

When quizzed about the allegations on Friday, Redknapp told reporters: "If it happened, they must have done something I didn't see. I don't believe what you are saying. I can't see it."

He added: "We worked the maximum, man for man, worked our socks for an hour and a half, every day. No one was ever late. I was the first one on the training ground."

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