WITTON were left with no alternative but to end Shaun Tuck’s spell with the club, according to chairman Mark Harris.

Albion announced on Friday evening that the striker’s contract, due to expire at the end of the current campaign, had been torn up following a meeting earlier the same day.

Only on Monday they had confirmed their intention to stand by last season’s leading scorer following his release from prison.

The 27-year-old admitted in July he had written malicious messages on Twitter, a social networking website, following the murder in London of British soldier Lee Rigby.

He was punished with a three-month jail term, serving half.

In a written statement issued the day before Witton’s away date with FC United of Manchester in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, he denied he is racist.

Less than two hours later, he included in a status update on his personal account on Facebook derogatory comments about the Rebels and their supporters.

It led to his exclusion by Albion boss Brian Pritchard from the squad to play the game.

Harris said: “Shaun saw fit to go again on social media on Monday night, something he had agreed not to do.

“As a result, we told him to stay away from Gigg Lane, where I apologised to FC United of Manchester officials on behalf of the club.”

Albion made public that apology in its statement tonight, Friday.

Harris told supporters at a forum on Wednesday that the club did not regret its original decision not to sack Tuck.

He added: “We gave somebody a second chance because we felt that was the right thing to do.

“If when you do, that individual throws it back in your face then there can only be one conclusion.”

Tuck departs Wincham Park after scoring 26 goals in 53 appearances, including a decisive one against King’s Lynn last Saturday.

It marked his return to the field less than a fortnight after leaving jail.

He joined Witton last summer after a supporter made a donation to the club to help pay the player’s transfer fee.

Harris told those at Wednesday’s forum that he was unhappy with how some Albion supporters had behaved in recent weeks.

He said: “What I find concerning is that the great strength of this club – its unity – has been threatened.

“It is unacceptable to see fans at each other’s throats, be that here at the ground or on Internet forums.

“Only two people have had the balls to come directly to me and express a view on how the club has handled the situation with Shaun Tuck, which is a source of great regret.

“Others have chosen to sit at their keyboards and say stuff, which is gutless.

“It’s vital now we focus again on what is important, and that’s football.”