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West Brom cuts ties with Anelka for 'gross misconduct'

The Baggies have decided to part ways with the striker after he announced he was terminating his contract following the "quenelle" controversy.

West Brom has given Nicolas Anelka 14 days' notice that the club intends to terminate his contract after finding him guilty of "gross misconduct."

Anelka had announced on Twitter he planned to terminate his contract with the Premier League club, just a day after it was confirmed he would accept a five-match ban for making a quenelle gesture.

The club said Anelka, who turned 35 on Friday, was unwilling to agree to conditions it set, which would have allowed him to resume training. West Brom wanted Anelka to apologize for the gesture — associated with anti-Semitic sentiments — he made during a match against West Ham on Dec. 28, and accept a "substantial fine."

"Nicolas Anelka's purported termination of his Premier League contract this evening via social media was invalid as this was not conducted under the correct legal process as required by his contract," the club said in a statement. "The club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on social media this evening, to be gross misconduct.

"As a result the club has tonight written to Nicolas Anelka giving him 14 days' notice of termination as required under his contract."

Anelka decided Thursday against contesting a five-match ban and 80,000 pound fine handed to him by a three-man independent panel.

The France international claimed he had performed the gesture in honor of his friend Dieudonne M'bala M'bala and insisted it nothing more than an anti-establishment gesture. The independent panel accepted Anelka was not an anti-Semite, but the gesture was anti-Semitic.