West Ham have divided supporters by offering to replace replica shirts emblazoned with the name of departed star Dimitri Payet – but only if they pay £25.
Payet completed a £25m return to former club Marseille on Monday, having angered Hammers fans by agitating for a transfer just months after being made the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
Irate supporters with Payet shirts were invited to return them to a club shop, where they would be given a replacement at a reduced price.
But while some welcomed the move, announced by vice-chairman Karren Brady, others accused the club of cashing in on their misery and called for replacement shirts to be issued free of charge.
Morning, bring back your Payet shirt to any of the club shops & you will get a new replacement for £25, full details on WHU web site today. https://t.co/i9BPrS6YG1— Lady Karren Brady (@karren_brady) January 30, 2017
Payet struck an unapologetic note as he was welcomed back to the south of France, after West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan had earlier accused the 29-year-old of disrespecting the Premier League club.
“I didn’t feel very good over there. It came at a time when I missed France,” he said.
“It was drawn-out because I started my stand-off with West Ham a long time ago. I don’t want to talk about this at the moment, but I don’t have to justify my behaviour.”
West Ham "disappointed"
Sullivan said Payet had been allowed to leave “in the interests of squad unity”, adding that the club considered denying his request to leave “in order to make an example of him”.
He said: “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.”