Former West Ham United star Matthew Etherington is determined to set the record straight about the way in which defender James Collins was released by the Premier League side, who are currently managerless after David Moyes' departure.
The 34-year-old former Wales defender - who made 214 appearances for the Hammers over two spells with the club - reportedly claimed that he had been notified by email that he would be surplus to West Ham's requirements next season, rather than being given the news face to face.
West Ham claim that Collins was already aware that he would not be playing for the club next season, and that the email was no more than official confirmation of his departure. However, according to the following tweet, Etherington begs to differ:
Contrary to misleading reports, Ginge hadn’t heard anything until he received the email on Tuesday. He understands the club had to submit the list but an explanation beforehand would have been decent. He then could of got the send off he deserves. A good, good man.. #gingerpele— Matthew Etherington (@mattyethers) May 20, 2018
'Ginge' is an affectionate nickname for the Welshman, whose 11 seasons at West Ham were interrupted by a two-season spell at Aston Villa from 2010 to 2012.
Having been a mainstay of the Hammers' defence in the past, Collins was reduced to more of a bit-part role this season, making just 13 Premier League appearances for his club as he struggled with a succession of injuries.
Nevertheless, the allegation that no senior West Ham representative actually spoke to the popular centre back about his impending departure will likely be greeted with deep hostility by Hammers fans, many of whom are already deeply dissatisfied with their club's hierarchy.
In what was a disappointing season for the Hammers, albeit one in which Moyes guided them to Premier League safety, unrest among the fans occasionally spilled over into ugly scenes at the London Stadium - most notably during the dismal 3-0 home defeat against Burnley.