West Ham boss: There is no comparison between my departure and Payet situation
PUBLISHED: 08:30 20 January 2017
Hurt Hammers manager Slaven Bilic responds to stories calling him a hypocrite
As the Dimitri Payet dispute continues, there are some stories making disparaging remarks about current West Ham boss Slaven Bilic and what some see as a hypocritical stance.
Bilic told the press last week that the France international had demanded a move and that he was not prepared to play for the club again.
And part of that seems to echo what happened with the current boss under Harry Redknapp back in 1997.
But the Croatian was keen to point out that there can be no comparisons between the two.
“I have a good memory of what happened,” he said. “I left West Ham and went to Everton so they can blame me for that.
“I wanted to go, the club didn’t want to sell me, but the way it happened was very loyal.”
He recounted the story, adding: “I had a clause in my contract for £4.5million which was extremely high for a 29-year-old. It was before the March deadline and Everton wanted to sign me.
“I said to Harry Redknapp, ‘let me go there and talk to them, but I ain’t going to sign, no way until the end of the season’.
“He told me they wanted me now because they had a lot of injuries, but I said I am coming back, but because he was afraid he told the press and it leaked out.”
Bilic went to Goodison Park and met with chairman Peter Johnson, manager Joe Royle and a director, who told him that they planned to win the league in the next five years and that he would be part of the spine of the team.
“I said okay, but I can only talk for the summer, not now. If it’s now I’m not going to come because I’m going back to West Ham to try and help them stay up,” he said.
“Although they needed me then, I think they liked that, so we shook hands only and made an agreement for May or June.”
Bilic kept his word and helped West Ham stay up, before moving to Everton, where injury blighted his time at Goodison Park.
“You can ask Julian Dicks, Harry or Marc Rieper what happened and I think this is why the core of the fans trust me and like me,” he added.
“I didn’t say that to compare my situation to Dimi. I read the reports and it hurt me for 10 or 15 minutes, but because it is not true, it did not hurt for long.”
The situation with Payet is still ongoing. He is currently training with the under-23s at Chadwell Heath and seems to have been snubbed by the West Ham squad.
Marseille have had two bids rejected for the player, so nothing is sorted.
“I always want to do things in-house, but sometimes you have to draw the line and protect the team, because there is nothing above the team,” said Bilic.
“The situation is not good for anyone, not him, not the club or football in general. Dimi took his stand clearly and the club did the same. We are not going to sell our best players on the cheap just because someone wants him. The ball is in Marselle’s court.”
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