Aston Villa have today confirmed that they won't be offering a contract to Stiliyan Petrov.
The Bulgarian had recently returned to Aston Villa for pre-season training in the hopes of being selected by Roberto Di Matteo for Villa's Championship campaign.
But Di Matteo will not be offering Petrov a position on his playing staff. Di Matteo said:
"Stiliyan is an inspiration to all of us. I have spoken to him and explained my thoughts and offered him the chance to remain at the Club." - Di Matteo
This is absolutely gutting for me - and likely every other Villa fan. Petrov had recently resumed his playing career after beating acute leukemia and hoped to feature for Villa this season.
That won't be the case.
However, Petrov has turned out for Villa in two matches so far and that is no small feat. Praise must also be paid to Di Matteo who likely had to make this torturous decision. The fact remains that football is still a business and hearts must sometimes be broken to make ends meet.
Petrov has been offered the chance to remain at Villa, albeit in another capacity, but has yet to make his decision.
We love you, Stan. I'm so, so sorry.