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
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices