West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady believes former manager Slaven Bilic never recovered after Dimitri Payet forced a transfer through to Marseille.
Payet left the Hammers in January to join Marseille after he declared he no longer wanted to play for the club. The Frenchman was an important player to the side at the time. He made 60 appearances for the club between 2015 and 2017, scoring 15 times.
Brady believes that the departure of Payet was a key moment in Bilic's reign as manager as the 49-year-old began to 'run out of ideas' afterwards.
Bilic was sacked on Monday after West Ham found themselves in the regulation zone, with just nine points from 11 Premier League games. His last game was the 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool in the league last weekend. He was replaced with David Moyes, who was given the manager's job until the end of the season,
Speaking to The Sun, Brady said: "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.
"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."
Brady also spoke about the appointment of David Moyes, who she criticised previously for the behaviour that he exhibited at Sunderland, where he made an inappropriate comment to a female reporters question.
The West Ham vice-chairman believes there will be no repeat during his time at the Hammers. She said: "A few months ago I highlighted that the then-Sunderland manager David Moyes gave an unworthy reaction to a question from a woman reporter.
"He apologised to her and I welcome his move to us and know he won't make such a remark again."
After the international break is over, West Ham will play against Watford away as they try to get out of the relegation zone in the Premier League.