Nicholas Anelka sacked by West Bromwich Albion: Parting is such tweet sorrow for French striker

Striker set to leave the club following 'quenelle' fall-out

Nicolas Anelka’s ill-fated season with West Bromwich Albion ended in acrimony tonight, along with his career in England.

Anelka is due to start a five-match suspension imposed for making the “quenelle” gesture. It became clear he would never return from the ban when he marked his 35th birthday by using social media to announce he had torn up his contract with West Bromwich Albion to “retain his integrity”.

The club was swift to respond describing Anelka’s behaviour as “highly unprofessional,” adding “the club has received nothing formally regarding the termination of Nicolas Anelka’s contract from either him or his advisers.”

A few hours later it announced it had sacked Anelka for 'gross misconduct' due to a combination of his 'quenelle' gesture, and his claim to have quit the club without following contractual procedure. They have written to Anelka giving him 14 days' notice of termination.

On his official twitter account Anelka said he was unable to accept “certain conditions” Albion wished to impose to “reintegrate” him into the club when his suspension expires.

Albion revealed these were that he 'apologise to the club, 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.'

Anelka will thus take his leave of English football even more dramatically than he arrived as a fleet-footed teenaged goalscorer 17 years ago. He ultimately played for six English clubs, scoring for them all, but none of his goals, even the one that sealed the Double for Arsenal the FA Cup final against Newcastle United in 1998, had as much impact as the last two, in a 3-3 draw against West Ham United on 28 December.

He celebrated by performing a gesture then unknown in England but recognised in France, where the match was being broadcast, as being associated with anti-Semitism.

Anelka told an independent regulatory commission it was made in support of his friend Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a French comedian who has been convicted seven times of anti-Semitic crimes, but the commission accepted he had not intended to be anti-Semitic.

Anelka started Albion’s league games while before the case was heard but after the verdict was suspended by the club. Lifting that suspension required Anelka making the aforementioned apology and accepting the fine.

Anelka wrote, in French, on his official Twitter account that in discussions with the club “propositions were made to me in order to reintegrate me into the squad under certain conditions that I cannot accept. Wishing to retain my integrity, I have therefore taken the decision to free myself and put an end to the contract linking me with West Bromwich Albion.”

Albion were the sixth club Anelka played for in England after Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton and Chelsea. However, he has only scored six goals in three seasons, half of those in China, and the last two appear to have caused more trouble than they were worth.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform