West Ham lashed out at Dimitri Payet after selling him to Marseille, accusing the attacker of a lack of respect.
Hammers’ co-chairman David Sullivan issued a statement as Payet’s £25m move back to his former club was announced, stating that he wanted to make an example of him and keep him at the club.
Sullivan said it was manager Slaven Bilic and his squad that wanted Payet out of the London Stadium once and for all.
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.
“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.”
There had been a protracted stalemate over the transfer fee but West Ham finally agreed to Marseille’s final £25m offer on Sunday, after accepting the insertion of a 25 per cent sell-on clause.
Payet leaves West Ham having scored 15 goals in 60 appearances for West Ham.