Managers have difficult decisions to make and last night David Jeffrey had to cast sentiment to one side and tell a good friend his services were no longer required at Windsor Park.
Words could not adequately outline the contribution Glenn Ferguson has made to Linfield since his arrival from Glenavon in 1998 and his release will come as a shock to fans and players.
At the end of the season he said he wanted to play on and his performances brought the sporting proverb to mind: ‘form is temporary, class is permanent.’
After seeing his side lose the Gibson Cup to Glentoran, Jeffrey has acted decisively to transform his squad and Spike has been deemed surplus to requirements.
“Perhaps the biggest decision that has been taken in a long long time, probably as big a decision as it was to spend £55,000 on him, was the decision that we wouldn't be offering Glenn a new contract,” Jeffrey told the club’s website.
“In terms of Glenn's future, I don't know what that holds. Obviously, he will decide himself after taking some time out over the weekend. He has been an absolutely prolific goalscorer. Certainly he has made a magnificent contribution to this club's many recent successes.
“The number of trophies that he has contributed significantly to, have been immense and memorable. I could wax lyrical for a long, long time about the contribution he has made to this club. He himself will decide what's best.
“In terms of Glenn, we want to thank him very, very much indeed. We wish him and John Martin all the very very best.”
Jeffrey also confirmed that Alan Mannus will leave the club.
“This is a time of transition and rebuilding,” added Jeffrey. “We've looked at what the players have done and perhaps more significantly, at what we think they would be able to do next year in terms of our challenge for the league title.”