Derby County have issued an extraordinary statement that has detailed a team night out that ended in Republic of Ireland defender Richard Keogh sustaining a season-ending knee injury in a car crash, with two other players charged with drink driving at the scene.
Club captain Keogh, 33, was out with the rest of the squad for a team-building dinner on Tuesday evening. Derby claim that he, along with Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence, "continued drinking into the night" after the rest of the party had left.
The three were involved in a collision later that night, with Bennett and Lawrence charged with drink driving on the scene by Derbyshire police.
Keogh was a passenger in Lawrence's car, and suffered a knee injury that has ruled him out for the rest of the Championship season.
He will also miss the Republic of Ireland's remaining Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia, Switzerland and Denmark. It is a headache manager Mick McCarthy will not need after seeing Shane Duffy limp out of Brighton's Carabao Cup defeat to Aston Villa.
Derby released a statement on Thursday lunchtime condemning all three men, saying they will "pay a heavy price" for their actions.
"The players were out as part of a scheduled team-building dinner with staff and while the majority of them acted responsibly and left at around 8pm and were not involved, a small group, including the team captain Richard Keogh, continued drinking into the night.
"They should have known when to stop and also ignored the opportunity to be driven home using cars laid on by the club, and chose to stay out.
"As a result of an alcohol-related incident, Richard Keogh has sustained a serious knee injury that will prevent him from playing until the end of the season.
"The players involved in the incident on Tuesday evening will be subject to a rigorous internal investigation under the club's code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, but over and above any punishment they receive we will be expecting them to become involved with the excellent work the Community Trust does helping the communities we serve.
"We have been very clear about our attitude towards alcohol and the players know that at certain and specific times of the season they are permitted a drink together as a group in a controlled environment.
"Those involved in Tuesday’s incident know they will pay a heavy price for their actions, but also that we will support them with their rehabilitation back into the squad and team.
"We fully support the work of our partners at Drinkaware and the unsanctioned actions of this small group of players is totally at odds the stance that both Drinkaware and Derby County Football Club take regards alcohol. We will be using this situation to redouble our efforts in highlighting the dangers posed by alcohol.
"We would also like to thank the emergency services for their swift help."
A statement from Derbyshire police, released on Wednesday, read: "Two men have been charged with drink driving after a collision involving a Range Rover Sport and a Mercedes GLC at the junction of Burley Hill and the A6 at Allestree, last night shortly before midnight (Tuesday, 24 September).
"Mason Bennett, 23, of Whaley Thorns near Mansfield and Tom Lawrence, 25, of Duffield were arrested at the scene and charged earlier today. They are due to appear at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 15 October at 9.30am."