Frenchman sacked after refusal to apologise to club, fans, sponsors and wider community
Anelka was hit with a five-game ban and a club suspension following his ‘quenelle’ celebration in December, but took to Twitter yesterday to announce that he had left Albion.
The Baggies moved to defuse the situation, claiming it had noted Anelka’s comments on social media but that no formal termination of his contract had been reached. The club then issued a statement at 10:56pm, announcing they had given Anelka 14-days’ notice of the termination of his contract.
Albion claim the reasons for the termination were down to Anelka’s refusal to apologise to the club, its supporters, sponsors and the wider community.
West Brom have confirmed what was always likely, with Anelka now playing no further part in the club’s survival bid this season. The Baggies travel to Swansea today and could end the afternoon in the relegation places, with the latest twist in the Anelka row continuing to be a distraction.
In addition to the tarnished reputation of the club, boss Pepe Mel now loses a striker in Albion’s continued struggle for goals. It will now rest with Victor Anichebe, Matej Vydra Thievy and Saido Berahino to try and find the goals that keep the club in the Premier League.
Although the sacking will be the talking point in lead-up to the game against Swansea, it should at least now see and end to the fall-out. In what has been a season riddled with slow decisions from Albion, perhaps ten weeks to see a resolution to the matter is far too long. Nevertheless, now is a time to deliver on the pitch and show for one the club do not need Anelka, and secondly to kick-start a season that creeps ever closer to an unhappy ending.
West Bromiwch Albion’s full statement on sacking of Anelka:
“Further to the statement issued earlier this evening, the Club notes Nicolas Anelka is unwilling to agree to the conditions set by it which may have enabled his suspension to be lifted and for him to resume training,” the statement read.
“These conditions were, firstly, that the Club required Nicolas Anelka to apologise to it, its supporters, sponsors and the wider community for the impact and consequences of his gesture made on December 28 and secondly, that he accept a substantial fine.
“Nicolas Anelka’s purported termination of his Premier League contract this evening via Social Media was invalid as this was not conducted under the correct legal process as required by his contract.
“The Club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on Social Media this evening, to be gross misconduct.
“As a result the Club has tonight written to Nicolas Anelka giving him 14 days’ notice of termination as required under his contract.