John Terry will leave Aston Villa after just one season after they were unable to gain promotion from the Championship, the club has confirmed.
Villa moved to snap up Terry on a free transfer following his trophy-laden career at Stamford Bridge, where five Premier League titles, and winners’ medals in the Champions League and Europa League – even though he did not play in either final – were among his list of achievements
Despite his age and being in the twilight of his career, former England skipper Terry made a telling contribution at Villa and captained them as they finished fourth in the regular season, securing a spot in the play-offs.
It had been reported that a one-year extension was to be handed to the centre-back if Villa managed to return to the Premier League, but a 1-0 defeat to Fulham in the play-off final ended those plans.
A statement from club owner Tony Xia earlier on Wednesday hinted at imminent changes, as he told supporters Villa “will face severe FFP [Financial Fair Play] challenges next season”.
It will come as little surprise that Terry, whose contract was reportedly worth £80,000 per week, is the first to move on.
But despite the disappointing end to his Villa Park stay, Terry feels he has learned a lot from manager Steve Bruce and spoke highly of both the former Manchester United defender and Xia.
Taking to his official Instagram account, Terry wrote: “I have given my everything this year both on and off the pitch and I’m still hurting today that we never managed to get back to the Premier League, where this club 100 per cent belongs.
“I would like to thank Steve Bruce, who was instrumental in me joining Villa. I have learnt so much from him as a manager this season that will stay with me forever.
“Also, I’d like to thank all the staff and players and our owner Dr Tony Xia, who it was a real pleasure and honour to work with every day.”
Villa commended Terry for his commitment in a statement, which read: “We would like to place on record our most sincere thanks for the effort and professionalism he showed with us last season.
“John is a true leader and was everything and more that we hoped. Hugely popular and influential in the dressing room, he played a real captain’s role in creating the incredible bond the players shared with our supporters, and vice-versa.
“We hope he looks back on his time with Villa fondly and we wish him the very best as his career moves forward.”