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West Ham Chairman Explains Why Club Sold "Flawed Individual" Dimitri Payet

West Ham Chairman Explains Why Club Sold "Flawed Individual" Dimitri Payet
By Mikey Traynor

If West Ham United chairman David Sullivan had his way, Dimitri Payet would have spent the last six months rotting in the club's reserves rather playing for Marseille, but as the Frenchman's time with the Hammers turned sour at the end of 2016 he was shipped out in the January transfer window.

That was the decision of manager Slaven Bilic, and one which Sullivan accepted was for the greater good, as Payet had essentially gone on strike due to unhappiness with his working conditions, and not for the first time in his career.

The outspoken chairman was eager to make that point as he discussed the matter on Talksport on Tuesday, where he labelled Payet a 'flawed individual' and revealed that the club were aware that issues may arise when they signed the player.

We knew Dimitri was flawed, and that’s why we got him for £10.5million. It was a fantastic buy, but we knew we bought a flawed individual and someone who could well go on strike – he had done it all before.

That’s why he never reached his full potential as a player and why big clubs have steered clear of him.

Sullivan acknowledged that Payet had been a wonderful player for the club over his 18 months in London, and represented a fantastic bit of business as West Ham received over double what they had paid for Payet, but it was Bilic's concern for the impact that he would have on the rest of the squad that ultimately pushed him out the door.

With bids of over £20m coming in, it would have been difficult for a club the size of West Ham to justify snubbing them so as not to grant Payet his wish.

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We wouldn’t have sold him unless we had to. We had meeting after meeting with him - he wanted out and the manager wanted him out. He didn’t want to have an unhappy camp.

Personally, I would have made him stick it out for six months and given him a hard time, but if the manager says he’s unsettling the whole camp, you’ve got to support the manager.

West Ham struggled badly in the absence of Payet, who was a source of creative inspiration for the team, but once he had decided that he wanted out there was seemingly no way the situation could have been rectified.

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You can listen to Sullivan's chat with Jim White over on Talksport.com.

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