Bayonne chairman Alain Afflelou has spoken in the French press of his disgust at Mike Phillips’ behaviour, describing his actions as ‘inexcusable’, and accusing him of ‘treason’.
Official confirmation of the Wales scrum-half’s sacking, after he reported for a video analysis section under the influence of alcohol, is expected shortly, but in a heated interview with French publication Sud Ouest, Afflelou did not hold back on his opinion of one of the club’s star players.
He claimed he had wanted to sack Phillips immediately when he had found out what happened, but had to wait until a disciplinary hearing had been completed. He claims had Phillips not been sacked, he would have walked away from the club.
“It was him or me,” he said. “I could not have stayed in a club with such disagreement.”
“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 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 Phillips had expected to be fired, Afflelou replied: “I hope he did not expect to receive an email of congratulations. Shit! 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 face 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.”
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images