West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has said that he wanted to keep Dimitri Payet at the club to “make an example of him” but he was sold in the “interests of squad unity”.
The Frenchman completed a £25million move to Marseille late on Sunday and signed a four-and-a-half year deal with the Ligue 1 outfit.
Payet had been banished to the under-23 squad after he refused to play for the senior team as he tried to force a move away from the club.
And now the deal is done, Sullivan has revealed the board’s true thoughts on the way Payet conducted himself near the end of his time at the London Stadium.
“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, particularly when it rewarded him with a lucrative new five-and-half-year deal only last year,” Sullivan told the club’s official website.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) January 29, 2017
“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. To be frank, my board and I would have preferred for him to have stayed in order to make an example of him, as no player is bigger than the club.
“I am confident that with the quality of the players we have brought in during January already, the squad will be stronger at the end of this transfer window than it was at the start. We now look forward to building on our recent good run of form with five league wins in the last seven matches as we focus on continuing our rise up the Premier League table.”