Ex-Melbourne City hitman Bruno Fornaroli was forced out after he failed to live up to club expectations – despite his incredible strike rate, former team-mate Scott Jamieson revealed.
But he says the decision to let Uruguayan go to Perth Glory could come back to haunt City in the race for the Premiership this season.
Fornaroli, 32, was a goal machine for the Melbourne club after arriving in 2015 and immediately shattering A-League scoring records.
He smashed home a staggering 57 goals in 83 games for the side before he was suddenly sidelined by then-coach Warren Joyce at the start of last season.
He played just four games for City last season, after just 10 the season before as a result of breaking his ankle in pre-season which ruled him out of action for two-thirds of the campaign.
A bitter fight broke out between the club and player as they desperately tried to offload him when the situation became impossible to resolve.
Meanwhile the rest of the squad was caught in the crossfire, and Jamieson admitted the row was a shadow hanging over the club for most of the season.
"It was, and as players we dealt with it as good as you could have asked for," he told the FTBL Podcast.
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"Bruno's a legend at this club and obviously did a lot for this club in terms of helping us win the FFA Cup.
"But what he was asked to do last year, he didn't do, and it was time for him to move on. It had to separate. I think he needed a change of scenery.
"And the club had to go through that to really stamp what we needed to change in the team.
"No-one is bigger than the football club – and everyone has to buy in to what's asked of them. It was over our heads but I thought we dealt with it as good as we could as a group.
"What Bruno did for this club was undeniable and he's a legend here – but it's time to move on and we have."
Jamieson said the incident was similar to what he experienced at Western Sydney Wanderers when marquee man Frederico Piovaccari was frozen out, but didn't get the same media attention.