The Board, Or The Player; Who’s To Blame For Dimitri Payet’s Transfer Request?

The Board, Or The Player; Who’s To Blame For Dimitri Payet’s Transfer Request?
Jan 12, 2017

Featured West Ham

News broke this morning in Slaven Bilic’s press conference [watch here] that Dimitri Payet has expressed his desire to leave the club. The news provoked a major Twitter meltdown among West Ham fans, with many blaming the Frenchman. Payet’s status at West Ham is now on the brink of breaking point, as Bilic revealed he has refused to train until he is allowed to leave the club. But, who really is at fault?

The Player Himself, Dimitri Payet.

Think back to 2014 – had you ever heard of Dimitri Payet? I doubt it. Being a West Ham fan, as much as I am grateful for Dimi’s impact on my team, he owes us just us much as we owe him. He was not always the player that he is now – he has spent his entire career in France, switching clubs every time a higher pay rise came along. What finally made him leave France? A pay rise to England. West Ham took a risk on some unheard of French midfielder playing for a mid-table Ligue 1 team. West Ham built a team around him, and after six months he received a 5-year-contract on £125,000 a week. Using the media coverage of the Premier League to build his reputation up, Payet managed to get a call-up for the French national squad just in time for the European Competitions 2016. Slaven Bilic’s punditry during the competition showed imposing admiration for his superstar, showing him off like a proud father. Dimitri Payet was given everything he could’ve asked for, he even posted this on Twitter to show his love for the club:

Less than a year later, he has stomped on the hearts of everyone in the West Ham community – the people who gave him love, sang his name and bowed down to him. Yes, I understand he is better than West Ham and it wouldn’t have been such a drama if he had handled the situation better. But not like this. Don’t waste our time sulking around the pitch, not putting in any effort, and then just not comment on the situation. Don’t subtly like tweets about West Ham being s**t and how you want to return to France. And finally don’t refuse to play or train with us, using your massive ego which is only justified because of the club that MADE you who you are today.

     “He owes us just us much as we owe him.”

West Ham weren’t great before Payet, and we won’t be great after Payet. Yes, it was a nice luxury to be half-decent for a season, but that’s not why you support West Ham. You support West Ham for the tradition and the experience of a proper East London day out eating a pie and mash on Green Street. Not to watch some fancy French egotistical baby.

The West Ham Board.

On the other hand – David Sullivan, David Gold, and Karren Brady could have done more to keep him. You know what it boils down to? Money. In my previous article, which you can read here, I spoke about why West Ham failed to sign top players this season, how this disappointed the fans and why the board let us down immensely. In the article, it explains how the West Ham board were stingy with their cash and promised so much yet delivered nothing. Last summer keeping hold of Dimitri Payet was a task that couldn’t be guaranteed, but it was achieved. To accomplish this, David Sullivan obviously held positive talks with Payet over his future, and he would have fed the same lies to the Frenchman that he fed the fans. Using the same selling tactics, West Ham would have said to Payet “If you stay at the club, you will…”

  • Play alongside a world-class striker
  • Play European football
  • Play in front of a sell-out 60,000 seater world-class stadium
  • Push for Champions League football

When in reality…

  • Play alongside Simone Zaza
  • Play two games in the Europa League against random Eastern European teams
  • Play in front of a half-full Olympic bowl
  • Push for avoiding relegation to the Sky Bet Championship

If you are a West Ham fan and you feel let down by West Ham, imagine how Payet feels having the final years of his career ruined because the club lied to your face. If Payet really wanted it at the time and the board were willing to sell, of course, Payet could’ve played for a major European club like Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid. Payet deserved Champions League football at a minimum, which West Ham should have secured last season anyway (Before you laugh, if West Ham had beaten Stoke and Swansea in the last two games of last season, they would have finished fourth. Not to mention West Ham had the most incorrect decisions against them than any other Premier League team last season). Payet fell for the lies, as did the fans, and now we are sat in 13th place whilst being knocked out of every single cup competition. If only David Sullivan had paid that extra bit of cash for that world-class striker we were all promised.

So, Who Is At Blame?

It is really hard to make a final decision. The situation is tough because I understand where Dimitri Payet is coming from – he really is on another level, in terms of talent, compared to Mark Noble and James Collins. However, if he wanted to leave he should’ve played his heart out for West Ham to earn that move in a positive way. He shouldn’t have finished his West Ham career so ungratefully.

Who really is to blame? I will let you guys decide – vote below.



  1. Avatar
    Jeremy says:

    If Payet feels let down by West Ham,he wants to look at the spectators that have been supporting them year on year.Difference is he’s £125k a week isn’t enough he wants more.Most of us have to work for 5 years to earn what he goes in a week. GO PAYET GO!

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