Richard Keys has accused West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady of self-interest in her plea for Kurt Zouma to be forgiven.
Footage of Zouma kicking and hitting his cat was released earlier this week, sparking outrage on social media.
However, calls for Zouma to be sacked fell on deaf ears, with the Frenchman selected to start in West Ham’s 1-0 win over Watford on Tuesday.
After condemning his actions publicly, the club decided to fine Zouma two weeks’ wages – worth £250,000 – and have pledged to donate the proceeds to the RSPCA. The centre-back’s cats have been relocated and he is set to undergo an animal welfare course.
With the controversy yet to settle, Brady asked for forgiveness in her column for The Sun on Friday, insisting Zouma was “extremely remorseful”.
“He has said sorry, and has also apologised sincerely to everyone at the Club and the wider public,” she wrote.
“That is an important first step on what will be a journey of re-education and atonement. And it is a journey we will fully support him on.
“West Ham United is renowned for its reputation as a family club. We care deeply about our community and the people within it. To know that a member of the West Ham family has fallen short of these values hurts tremendously.
“But our values also extend to giving a second chances for those who are remorseful and want to change.”
Keys mocked the response on Twitter, claiming Brady’s comments had underlying financial motives.
“This is hilarious,” the former Sky Sports presenter wrote. “When did you decide this was the case @karren_brady? Was it when you realised a £30m asset might get cancelled?
“It is ridiculous for @WestHam & @karren_brady to try to excuse Zouma. No – it’s not like a driving offence.
“There are consequences for that – you get banned for a year. Zouma is still playing. He’ll earn another £250,000 in a fortnight. It’s a disgrace. He shouldn’t be playing.”
West Ham manager David Moyes, however, has confirmed that Zouma will be available for selection against Leicester on Sunday.
“Yes he’s available to play against Leicester,” Moyes said in his pre-match press conference. “There are different views and opinions on should he be available. We as a club took that decision and I stand by that.”
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