Former Real Madrid sensation Robinho has had his contract terminated by Santos despite re-joining his boyhood club less than a week ago.
The Brazilian was sentenced to nine years in prison by an Italian court in 2017 after allegedly being involved in the gang rape of an Albanian woman four years prior.
Robinho, though, continues to plead his innocence and is appealing the verdict.
Nevertheless, his arrival forced a leading sponsor, dentistry firm Orthopride, to cut ties with the club "out of respect to female customers".
Thus, Santos announced on Saturday that Robinho's contract had been terminated by mutual consent so that he can 'focus exclusively' on his legal case.
Speaking after the club's announcement, the Brazilian took to Instagram to express his "sadness" at the decision: “Guys, this is Robinho," he started (via The Sun).
NOTA À IMPRENSA— Santos Futebol Clube (@SantosFC) October 16, 2020
O Santos Futebol Clube e o atleta Robinho informam que, em comum acordo, resolveram suspender a validade do contrato firmado no último dia 10 de outubro para que o jogador possa se concentrar exclusivamente na sua defesa no processo que corre na Itália.
“Of course, with a lot of sadness in my heart, I’m here to tell you that I made the decision with the club president to suspend my contract at this troubled time in my life. My goal has always been to help Santos Football Club and if in any way I'm getting in the way, it’s best I leave and focus on my personal things.
“For the Peixe [Santos] fans, those who like me, I will certainly prove my innocence to you. A hug,” the 36-year-old concluded.
The Brazilian had only re-joined his boyhood club last week following his release from Turkish champions Istanbul Basaksehir.
He'd signed a five-month deal with Santos and was set to earn a monthly salary of just 1,500 Brazilian reals - which equates to £207.
It's £50-per-week, and a far cry from the £160,000 he was on following a shock £32.5m deadline day switch to Manchester City in 2008.
Although the Brazilian received support from the Santos president following his recent arrival, it appears that the loss of a major sponsor combined with public pressure has forced the club into making such a decision.