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?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us