London - West Bromwich Albion have announced on Friday that it had sacked banned
French striker Nicolas Anelka for "gross misconduct", just hours after
he announced on Twitter he was leaving.Anelka, who turned 35 on
Friday, was due to start a five-match ban after being punished for his
controversial "quenelle" goal celebration at West Brom's 3-3 draw at
West Ham on December 28.
Instead he announced he was terminating
his contract with the English Premiership club, a move it denounced as
"invalid" - before formally sacking him with 14 days notice.
discussions between the club and me, proposals have been made to me
that I rejoined the group under certain conditions," Anelka wrote on his
official Twitter account.
"I cannot accept. Wishing to keep my
integrity, I decided to free myself and to terminate the contract
linking me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014 as of now."
contract was set to expire at the end of the season and it had already
been reported that he was considering quitting the Hawthorns after
growing disillusioned over the controversy surrounding his now infamous
use of what many regard as an anti-semitic gesture.
international strenuously denied all allegations of being racist or
anti-semitic and said the salute was to show solidarity with his friend,
controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala.
whose own investigation into the former Arsenal and Real Madrid star's
actions was expected to conclude next week, responded angrily to
It said it was "unprofessional" and said it had received no formal notice of the termination of his contract.
few hours later, the club issued another statement saying Anelka's
behaviour constituted gross misconduct and as such it was terminating
"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 said.
"The club considers the conduct of
Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on
social media this evening, to be gross conduct.
"As a result the
club has tonight written to Nicolas Anelka giving him 14 days notice of
termination as required under his contract."
Albion had already
lost one sponsor as a result of the row and the club had not ruled out
sacking Anelka for his quenelle gesture.
On Thursday, the Football
Association (FA) decided against appealing the length of Anelka's ban,
issued by an independent commission for his actions.
has spent 12 years of his career in the Premier League with six clubs,
is understood to have also accepted the ruling, which meant his
suspension would have started with West Brom's match at Swansea on
The FA were considering an appeal to obtain an increase
to the ban, which was the minimum that could be handed out based on the
governing body's new rules overseeing offences of a racist nature.
acrimonious exit from Albion has come to light just a day after the
club and the FA were criticised by the equality group Kick It Out.
"There are many ambiguities that are not easily reconcilable with the final outcome," the Kick It Out statement read.
instance, Anelka has attended one of Dieudonne's live performances and
admits to being a friend of his, and to claim that he does not
understand the anti-Semitic connotations of the quenelle is beyond
"His employer West Bromwich Albion should have
exercised its leadership as a community institution to apologise for the
offence caused and deal with the matter in accordance with its
Following the incident, Anelka started
all four of Albion's Premier League games in January. But he has not
featured since and was due to miss relegation-threatened Albion's
matches against Swansea, Hull, Norwich, Cardiff and Tottenham.