John Terry: Aston Villa captain leaves after play-off final defeat

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John Terry won 78 caps for EnglandAston Villa captain John Terry has left the club after they failed to gain promotion to the Premier League.Terry, 37, joined the Villans on a one-year deal last summer after leaving Chelsea and scored once in 36 appearances for the club.However, he could not help them return to the top flight after a two-year absence, as they lost 1-0 to Fulham in Saturday's Championship play-off final.
Villa thanked defender Terry for "the effort and professionalism he showed".The club said in a statement:[/i] "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."Villa boss Steve Bruce said before the play-off final that he was hopeful that the former England captain, who made 492 league appearances across 19 years for Chelsea, would remain with the club if they secured a return to the Premier League.Terry's next move is not clear, although there are no initial indications that he plans to retire from playing. Before joining Villa last year, he reportedly received an "eye-watering offer" from Turkish club Galatasaray, while there was "definite interest" from China and the United States.He has also previously stated a desire to move into management, saying it would be "incredible" to manage his former side Chelsea once his playing career ends.
Villa 'need to change a lot of things'

Striker Jonathan Kodjia joined Aston Villa from Bristol City in August 2016 for a fee that could rise to £15mTerry's exit is likely to be the first of a busy summer at Villa Park after chairman Tony Xia said the club must "rethink not only the past two years but also the past 10 years".Xia told the club website:[/i] "We are all aware we will face severe Financial Fair Play challenges next season. Villa needs to be a sustainable football club."We have been heavily investing for the past two seasons. However, the loss on Saturday means that we need to change a lot of things."Under a new set of FFP regulations agreed in November 2014, Championship clubs are not permitted to lose more than £39m over a three-season period.Xia, who bought the club in June 2016, has spent a large amount in his two years at the club, with Scott Hogan, Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia all joining for fees in excess of £10m.
Bruce to stay on[/img]

Steve Bruce had been hoping to lead a team into the Premier League for a fifth timeVilla boss Steve Bruce said after Saturday's defeat that he would remain at the club "as long as those above me see I'm fit to do it".Bruce, who is on a rolling contract, has been in charge at Villa Park since replacing Roberto di Matteo in October 2016.Xia thanked the former Birmingham, Wigan and Hull City boss for his efforts in 2017-18 - but did not confirm whether he intended to retain his services."I'm delighted to see that under Steve's management this season, we demonstrated character and unity. We fought like a team," he said."I want to thank Steve from the bottom of my heart, particularly for his remarkable level of professional focus despite losing his parents this year. With that, I would like to say thank you to Steve and his coaching staff once again for leading the team forward wholeheartedly throughout the season."
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