Derby County condemn behaviour of players involved in crash as skipper Richard Keogh is ruled out for the season
Derby County say club captain Richard Keogh will miss the rest of the season through injury following the car crash on Tuesday night that saw two Rams players charged with drink driving.
Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence were arrested and charged at the scene after their respective vehicles were involved in the accident, with Keogh understood to have been a passenger in one of them.
Keogh consequently sustained a serious knee injury that will rule him out for several months.
Lawrence and Bennett will appear in court next month following the incident, which Derby County say took place after a club-sanctioned night out but which saw a small group of players remain out drinking long after the vast majority of the squad had gone home at 8pm.
A statement issued on Thursday read: "As a club, we cannot, and do not, condone the actions of a small group of players on Tuesday evening.
"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."
Derby are due to host Birmingham City at Pride Park on Saturday afternoon.