St Mirren captain John Potter revealed he was surprised to be told he had no future at the Paisley club.
The centre-half leaves the Buddies after almost 200 appearances since joining from Clyde six years ago.
"I got offered a contract a while ago and it came off the table yesterday," said the 31-year-old.
"I thought we were going to speak about it but the manager said the goalposts had moved. Something must have happened for him to change his mind."
The St Mirren fans stood to applaud Potter as he was substituted late in the drab goalless draw at home to St Johnstone.
"It was difficult before the game but during the game it was fine. You just go and play," he added.
"But at the end it was a bit emotional. I've had a great time here, I've loved it and I am disappointed to be leaving.
"We discussed it [a new contract] at the time and we thought the right thing to do was to make sure St Mirren stayed in the Premier League and once we did that we would get it sorted.
"We did that the other night at Aberdeen, I had a few days off and came in on Friday and got told the news.
"I was a bit surprised."
Potter, who is going through a course to attain coaching qualifications, is now on the lookout for a new club over the summer months, but told BBC Scotland that he knows that will be no easy task.
"It has happened to many people in football so hopefully I can move on and find another team and keep playing football," said the former Dunfermline defender.
"I'm 31 so hopefully I can keep playing in the Premier League.
"I've played another 30-odd games this season again. I'm proud of that and proud of what I've done here.
"We got promoted in my first season and stayed in the Premier League every year since.
"I've captained the club in a cup final and a semi-final. I've loved my whole time here.
"It's a hard game now to get a club in football. There are lots of good players free."