Danny Hay and the New Zealand Knights have finally parted ways with the struggling A-League club announcing its skipper has been cut free.
Knights chief executive Steve O'Hara confirmed on Friday Hay's contract had been terminated.
Hay had about two and a half years remaining on his contract.
The former Leeds United defender has not trained or played with the team since late November and has been at loggerheads with club management over the team's direction.
The Knights are firmly rooted at the bottom of the A-League with just one win from 15 matches this season.
After being stood down for two matches last month, Hay was told by manager John Adshead to "take a couple of weeks off" as they worked through the issues.
It was believed Hay was highly critical of the club's player recruitment.
In a statement O'Hara said Hay's culling was "part of the process of review and planning for next season".
"The club can now move forward with a clearer vision for the future," he said.
Hay's departure is another blow for the Knights following the exodus of other high profile players.
Striker Simon Yeo announced last week he was heading back to England, while defender Ronnie Bull left in November.
Despite the club's apparent imploding on and off the field, O'Hara told Radio Sport the Knights board still had total confidence in Adshead.
"It's a case of taking each day as it comes and looking ahead to next season," O'Hara said.
The Knights' next game after the four-week Christmas break is against A-League heavyweights Sydney FC on December 30.