'We wanted to make an example of him' - West Ham slam Dimitri Payet as he leaves for Marseilles in £25m move
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan is disappointed he was unable to "make an example" of Dimitri Payet following his £25million move to Marseille.
Payet's exit was finally confirmed late on Sunday night as he rejoined the French Ligue 1 club on a four-and-a-half-year deal after effectively bulldozing his way out of the Hammers.
The France international expressed his desire to leave, despite penning a lengthy new contract last year, and has not appeared for Slaven Bilic's side since refusing to play against Crystal Palace on January 14.
He has been accused of disrespecting the club and Sullivan is unhappy Payet was able to get his wish.
He said on the club's official website: "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.
"I would like to make it clear that we have no financial need to sell our best players and that the decision to allow Payet to leave was in accordance with the wishes of the manager and the interests of squad unity.
"To be frank, my board and I would have preferred for him to have stayed in order to make an example of him, as no player is bigger than the club.
"I am confident that with the quality of the players we have brought in during January already, the squad will be stronger at the end of this transfer window than it was at the start.
"We now look forward to building on our recent good run of form with five league wins in the last seven matches as we focus on continuing our rise up the Premier League table."
France international Payet, who arrived from Marseille in the summer of 2015, was a big hit in his first season with the London club, scoring 12 times in 38 appearances.
He also agreed a lucrative new contract until 2021 before starring for his country as they reached the final of Euro 2016 on home soil.
But things turned sour earlier this month when Payet angered his boss Bilic by requesting a transfer and declining to be picked against Palace.
A statement confirming his arrival at the Stade Velodrome on Marseille's website read: "After a year-and-a-half exile in England, Dimitri Payet is back in Marseille, to the delight of all lovers of OM. He signed on Sunday evening a contract of four and a half years."