Newcastle Investigating after a Few Under-23 Players Were Involved in Bar Brawl
Newcastle United are investigating after several of their Under-23s players were involved in a bar-room brawl with friends to academy manager Steve Harper’s son, leaving some with facial injuries.
Trouble flared during a team night out in the city center last week when punches were traded between players and another group of revelers, that included James Harper, son of Steve.
It is understood James was not one of the aggressors as he ended up tending to some of the injured parties. However, it is thought that summer signing Charlie Wiggett, , was among those left with a facial injury.
The police were not called but Newcastle launched an immediate investigation when Harper was made aware of the fight that started after the players had hired a table at Tup Tup Palace, a club synonymous with reality TV show Geordie Shore.
The former Magpies goalkeeper spoke to those involved but has since stepped back because of an obvious conflict of interest, given his son’s presence and the fact he knows the boys with whom his own players were scrapping.
Regardless, formal disciplinary action is being taken against several players. As one source said: ‘Only at Newcastle United could this happen. There was some bad blood between one of the players and one of James’ friends. They already knew each other”.
‘A player was being gobby and it then turned ugly. Another player steamed in and has hurt a lad. But how stupid can you be, getting into a fight with the friends of the academy manager’s son?
‘Steve has a big job on his hands sorting that place out, it’s been a mess for years.’
Harper, who made 199 appearances during 20 seasons at St James’ Park, took over as academy chief earlier this year when Joe Joyce left.
Harper left Steve Bruce’s first-team staff to take on the academy position and, while sources say he has made a positive impact, he has endured a troubled start.
The Under-23s are currently without a manager after Chris Hogg joined MK Dons as assistant boss last month and Gary Caldwell, appointed on an interim basis, then spent just three weeks in the role.
It is thought Newcastle will now hold a trial period where coaches have a chance to impress during a training session with academy players.