Jlloyd Samuel leaves Esteghlal after 5-month pay dispute
After two-and-a-half successful years, it appears Jlloyd Samuel's time at Eteghlal reached a bitter conclusion following the former Aston Villa defender's claims that he hadn't been fully paid for five months.
Samuel, who made over 160 appearances in a nine-year career at Villa Park, moved to the Iranian club in December 2011 and proved a huge hit with the Esteghlal faithful.
During his spell in Tehran, Samuel helped Esteghlal to the 2012/13 Iranian Pro League title and the 2012 Hafzi Cup, as well as playing a key role in helping the club reach the semi-finals of the 2013 AFC Champions League.
But despite a largely enjoyable time in the Iranian capital, Samuel has left the club under a cloud after releasing a statement on his official Facebook page accusing Esteghlal of failing to pay his full wages.
"To all my loyal fans, I would just like to say I enjoyed playing at (Esteghlal) SS for the past 2 and half season," the 33-year-old stated. "I am however very upset in the way things have happened with my situation. I have given always my best for the team and never spoke bad about club.
"What they have done to me is not correct and not paying over 50% off my contract for more than 5 months is wrong and I have been more than patient.
"I cant continue like this as it's not proffesional and will have to take all procedure into getting the rest of my money. I would like to say thanks again to all the fans and wish maybe I see you in the future."
Esteghlal fans were clearly upset by the departure of the player they nicknamed the 'Black Diamond' with various supporters posting comments underneath the statement.
"You are an amazing player Samuel! We truly appreciate all you've done for our team!" wrote Sara Tad, while ejman Ebrahimi posted: "u were one of best player in esteghlal history , always u are in our heart , we love u for ever."
Samuek has signed a two-year deal with newly-promoted Iranian club Paykan.