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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Dimitri Payet’s fights with coach, players resulted in West Ham F.C. exit

Dimitro Payet isolated himself during his last few days at West Ham and all the players wanted him out of the team.

football Updated: Jan 31, 2017 18:32 IST
Sean Sequeira
Sean Sequeira
Hindustan Times
Dimitri Payet played in West Ham for two years from 2015 to 2017.
Dimitri Payet played in West Ham for two years from 2015 to 2017. (Getty Images)

Dimitri Payet’s controversial move from West Ham to Marseille was highly publicised because of the London club’s openness in dealing with the matter. But the saga didn’t end with his £25-million move back to France.

Hours after Marseille announced the transfer, West Ham’s joint-chairman David Sullivan said the decision to let Payet leave was ultimately taken because his teammates and coaches could not stand his behaviour any more.

“He’s not been talking to anyone in the squad. He’s been sitting in the corner of the room for his meals and he’s isolated himself. Before that he was bubbly, happy, shaking everyone’s hand before the match. Either it was a tactic or something in his head had changed. The team wanted him out, the manager — with great reluctance — wanted him out,” Sullivan told BBC Radio 5.

Earlier in the day, Sullivan had also released a statement expressing disappointment at Payet’s behaviour.

Excerpts from Sullivan’s statement:

“The club would like to place on record its sincere disappointment that Dimitri Payet did not show the same commitment and respect to West Ham United that the club and fans showed him…”

“…I would like to make it clear that we have no financial need to sell our best players and that the decision to allow Payet to leave was in accordance with the wishes of the manager and the interests of squad unity…”

Sullivan said the management had considered keeping Payet and forcing to sit on the reserve bench for six months to “make an example of him” but that would only cost the club £2-3 million in wages.

Payet had been initially forced to train with West Ham’s under-23 squad as manager Slaven Bilic had refused to allow him to train with the first team until his attitude improved. This was after Bilic told the media on January 12 that Payet had refused to play for West Ham anymore.

Last week, frustration at Payet’s behaviour mounted to vandalism; as a brick was hurled at his car window just outside his home.

His teammates had also refused to interact with him and had stopped inviting him for team-bonding sessions.

“The team are all part of a WhatsApp group and they were all messaging each other to arrange going for dinner at the start of this week,” club insider ExWHUEmployee told The Sun.

“Then one of the players said, ‘Actually, thinking about it Dimi, we don’t want you to come’.”

Reportedly, the displeasure among the teammates got to a point when Mark Nobel, James Collins and Pedro Obiang admonished Payet for his behaviour and had him deleted from the team WhatsApp group.

First Published: Jan 31, 2017 18:20 IST