​Veteran ​West Ham defender James Collins has claimed that he found out he was being released by his long-term club via e-mail, just days before the end of the 2017/18 season.

After serving the east London outfit for 11 years over two separate spells, it looked unlikely that the 34-year-old would be playing again for the Hammers, and according to the Mirror, Collins was shocked to receive the news without a face-to-face confrontation.

Collins was a fan favourite at the London Stadium, having made over 200 appearances in his two spells, with his second starting in 2012 after spending time with ​Aston Villa.

Previous talks had been held between the Welshman and his manager David Moyes regarding his future for West Ham but with Moyes' own future in the balance, Collins was unable to secure any assurances for his playing career.

The West Ham board ultimately decided to cut David Moyes loose and took the same decision with Collins, who will now be a free agent ahead of the summer transfer window. However, the board have made it clear that Collins was fully aware that he would not be getting a new deal and the email was simply written confirmation of this.

The controversy surrounding Collins' exit is one of many PR disasters West Ham have had to endure this year, with fans becoming increasingly hostile towards co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan.

James 'Ginge' Collins will now be free to search for a new club and considering his wealth of experience there may be a number of clubs who will be fighting for his signature.