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West Bromwich Albion sack 'highly unprofessional' Nicolas Anelka after quit tweet

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West Bromwich Albion have effectively sacked Nicolas Anelka for 'gross misconduct' after he announced via Twitter that he would be leaving the club.

The French striker, who had been suspended by the club, has been the subject of huge controversy following his his 'quenelle' gesture after scoring at West Ham in December.

The club revealed today that they had imposed conditions which would have lifted his suspension, including issuing an apology to fans.

But Anelka said he "could not accept" the club's demands.

Despite announcing his departure from the club on Twitter early on Friday evening, the Baggies said they had had no communications from him or his advisers.

Just before 11pm on Friday, Albion said his conduct amounted to gross misconduct and that they were giving him 14 days' notice of contract termination.

His earlier Tweets in French translated as: "Following discussions between the club and me, proposals have been made to me that I rejoined the group under certain conditions that I can not accept.

"Wishing to keep my integrity, so I decided to free myself and to terminate the contract binding me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014, and now."

Anelka had been suspended by the Baggies since being banned for five matches by an FA commission which ruled his celebration at Upton Park in the 3-3 draw had been anti-Semitic.

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Albion's own investigation was set to be completed next week and it is understood the Baggies were contemplating terminating his contract on grounds the striker brought the club into disrepute.

Friday's first statement from the club said: "The club confirms it has been continuing discussions with Nicolas Anelka and his advisers as part of its own internal enquiry into the gesture he made after scoring against West Ham United on December 28.

"Following the conclusion of the FA's enquiry into the same incident, the club had hoped to conclude its own investigations next week.

"The club notes Nicolas Anelka's comments on Twitter. However, the club has received nothing formally regarding the termination of Nicolas Anelka's contract from either him or his advisers.

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"The club regards the release of such a statement on social media as highly unprofessional and will make a further statement when appropriate."

Just before 11pm, Albion issued an update.

It said: "The Club notes Nicolas Anelka is unwilling to agree to the conditions set by it which may have enabled his suspension to be lifted and for him to resume training.

"These conditions were, firstly, that the Club required Nicolas Anelka to apologise to it, 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.

"Nicolas Anelka's purported termination of his Premier League contract this evening via Social Media was invalid as this was not conducted under the correct legal process as required by his contract.

"The Club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on Social Media this evening, to be gross misconduct.

"As a result the Club has tonight written to Nicolas Anelka giving him 14 days' notice of termination as required under his contract."

His last appearance was in the 4-3 derby defeat to Villa, when he limped off early through injury.

Anelka caused huge controversy with the gesture, which he claimed was made in support of his friend Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a French comedian who has been convicted seven times of anti-Semitic crimes.

Reaction from Twitter

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See also: Anelka will not appeal ban

Anelka attended anti-Semitic comedy show

Anelka 'quenelle' celebration was reference to anti-Semitism, rules commission

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