The "face" of the Queensland Roar - foundation skipper Chad Gibson - has been cut by the A-League underachievers after it failed to break its finals drought.
Gibson and fellow defender Remo Buess were told they would not be offered new contracts as coach Frank Farina began rebuilding for next season just three days after bowing out of the A-League finals race.
Gibson, 30, had been the Roar's poster boy since the A-League's inception last season but fell out of favour in 2006-07 firstly with foundation coach Miron Bleiberg and then his replacement Farina who came on board in November.
There is expected to be more blood letting as Farina looks to finally lead Queensland into the A-League finals following yet another frustrating season.
Of the other seven Roar players off contract, only three are expected to remain - Matt McKay, Spase Dilevski and Massimo Murdocca.
Gibson played only nine of Queensland's 21 games this season and Buess 11 - both started just eight matches for the Roar in 2006-07.
But Gibson revealed he had already begun talks with three clubs for next season and claimed he harboured no ill feeling with the Roar.
"Obviously it's a disappointing day in that I'm leaving the Roar but I'm moving forward injury-free, fitter than I've ever been and with a renewed enthusiasm for the game," Gibson said.
"I'm hoping to take that to my new club next season and I can't wait for the opportunity.
"A door closed here but I'm just waiting for that next door to open and I can't wait for my next challenge.
"It was on good terms and I've still got a lot of years ahead of me in my football career."
Gibson was a frustrated onlooker at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday night when Queensland drew 1-1 with defending champion Sydney FC in front of a record 32,000-plus crowd, only to miss out on a finals spot on goal difference.
"We didn't make the semis two years in a row, this club needs to make finals football and I'm part of those changes," Gibson said.
"That's football and that's the reality of elite sport. You move forward and you move on."
Roar chief executive Lawrence Oudendyk admitted it was a tough decision considering Gibson's profile with the A-League club.
"Chad can take great satisfaction in the knowledge that he has been instrumental in promoting both Queensland Roar and the A-League as a whole," he said.
"He has been the face of the Football Federation Australia marketing campaign, and like Remo, has been an outstanding ambassador for our club and our game.
"We are entering a phase in our club's development where we must look at altering the make-up of our squad to ensure a more competitive future and unfortunately releasing existing players is part of that process."
Queensland is reportedly chasing Socceroo Craig Moore and ex-international Danny Tiatto for next season.