Former Caley Thistle favourite David Raven reckons more could have been done to keep club captain Carl Tremarco at Inverness.
Tremarco has been told his contract will not be renewed in the summer, bringing to an end seven years of service in the Highland capital.
Raven, who played alongside him from 2013 up until his departure in January 2018, has spoken previously about his belief that figures such as Tremarco and another ex-skipper Gary Warren should have had roles found for them within the club.
The departure of Tremarco would also represent the end of an era, with only Aaron Doran left as a regular from their Premiership years.
Raven said: “It’s inevitable that these things come to an end but it must be horrible for him right now, in the uncertain time that we’re in. For such a long servant of the club it’s a kick in the teeth and not nice to hear.
“Had it been a slightly bigger club with bigger finances, I always think you’ve got to look after these guys and give them some sort of help with employment. Now the rug has been pulled from under his feet a bit.
“When you’ve got a character like that in the dressing room, it’s important you find a role for him. It’s people that set the standards inside the club. It’s always baffled me that clubs like Inverness don’t do that. You need some sort of core and stability.
“The problem is there’s not always a vacancy and you can’t create roles out of nothing. But you’ve got an individual that put so much hard work and graft into something.
“People move on, do different things but I suppose it’s the end of an era. We can all look back now and be proud of what we achieved. Carl was a huge part of that.”
Tremarco is one of eight players out of contract at the Caley Jags. Shaun Rooney has agreed a move to St Johnstone and Jordan White is believed to have signed a pre-contract elsewhere, while Doran, Tom Walsh, Charlie Trafford, Brad Mckay and Cammy Mackay also see their deals expire.
Raven and Tremarco both hail from Merseyside and first crossed paths playing for Tranmere Rovers. They were reunited at Inverness by Terry Butcher, winning the Scottish Cup in 2015 and qualifying for Europe for the first time.
He added: “We first crossed paths years ago. We played in the first-team together and I remember him being an absolute engine. He was behind left-back Gareth Roberts but every time he played, he was brilliant.
“I remember sitting up in Inverness and Ross Draper, who knew him from Macclesfield, said he was coming up. He ends up being a bit of an Inverness legend.
“We have had great times together and I thoroughly enjoyed playing with him. He’s a warrior and a grafter; he’ll put his body on the line time and time again in training and in games. He leads by example.”