Bayonne chairman accuses Phillips of 'treason'
October 28, 2013
'From the moment he let us down, his friends, coaches and fans, it was not possible to keep him' © Getty Images
Bayonne's chairman Alain Afflelou has told the French press that Mike Phillips' actions were "inexcusable" and described them as "treason".
Official confirmation that Phillips was being released from the final year of his contract after turning up under the influence of drink for a training session is expected shortly, but in an interview with Sud Ouest Afflelou did not pull any punches.
He said that he wanted to fire Phillips as soon as he was advised of what had happened but realised he had to wait until there had been a disciplinary hearing.
Had Phillips not been sacked then Afflelou said he would have quit. "It was him or me," he said. "I could not have stayed in a club with such disagreement." As it was, the committee was unanimous in its decision.
"From the moment he let us down, his friends, coaches and fans, it was not possible to keep him. However, I had great respect and affection for the boy, very respectful, and the player. I had already kept him on a year ago, against everyone's advice.
"This summer, I even invited to my house to offer him a contract extension of two years. I trusted him. This is treason."
Asked if he felt Phillips expected to be fired, Afflelou replied: "I hope he does not expect to receive an email of congratulations. Shit! [But] with all the sporting problems at the moment, we did not need this type of behaviour. It could no longer be tolerated.
"What he did is inexcusable. And it's not the first time.
Asked about reports Phillips was considering legal action, Afflelou said he did not expect to be faced with paying compensation. "We'll let the lawyers do their work but I don't think so. He is a repeat offender and has been laid off for misconduct."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
Communication error please reload the page.