West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady claims Slaven Bilic never recovered from Dimitri Payet’s acrimonious departure from the club and eventually “ran out of ideas”.
Bilic was sacked by West Ham on Monday following their poor start to the new Premier League season, with the Hammers in 18th place having won only two of their opening 11 matches.
The Croatian joined West Ham in 2015 and led the club to their best Premier League points tally – 62 – during his first campaign in charge, with Payet an instrumental figure after his arrival from Marseille.
But Payet, who scored 15 goals in 60 appearances, returned to Marseille in January 2017 having told Bilic that he would no longer play for the club.
“In his first six months, when Dimitri Payet was inspiring the team with his Gallic brilliance, Bilic sometimes looked pensive, as though he thought this was a lucky break and might not go on,” Brady told The Sun.
“He never quite recovered after the player staged a strike and went back to Marseille.
“He began to run out of ideas as the team’s initial defiance to Payet’s behaviour faded and less than a year later the manager had also departed.”
Former Manchester United, Everton and Sunderland manager David Moyes was appointed as Bilic’s successor on a deal until the end of the season on Tuesday.
Brady previously criticised Moyes for a comment he made towards a female reporter during his time at Sunderland, but she is confident there will be no repeat during his spell at West Ham.
“A few months ago I highlighted that the then-Sunderland manager David Moyes gave an unworthy reaction to a question from a woman reporter,” Brady said.
“He apologised to her and I welcome his move to us and know he won’t make such a remark again.
“I don’t know whether or not he is the dour Scot he is sometimes reputed to be but we know he has many of the characteristics of Sir Alex Ferguson, who mentored his accession at Old Trafford.”