KILMARNOCK manager Tommy Wright admitted “difficult decisions” had to be made after it was announced his side would release 10 players.

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The club have also offered new terms to a number of key players, including Northern Irishman Kyle Lafferty who has been in excellent form since joining in February.

Captain Gary Dicker, alongside fellow squad members Clevid Dikamona, Aaron Tshibola, Youssouf Mulumbu, George Oakley, Diaguely Dabo, Nicke Kabamba, Danny Whitehall, Danny Rogers and Ally Taylor, will all depart the club upon the expiry of their contract this summer.

The Ayrshire outfit ended their 28-year stay in Scotland’s top-flight on Monday evening when they lost to Dundee in the Premiership play-off final. Despite conceding some avoidable goals, Wright’s team were well-beaten over the two legs, going down 4-2 on aggregate.

The club’s relegation has prompted the beginning of a rebuild, with Head of Football Operations James Fowler and Wright meeting players throughout the day on Tuesday, informing those who would not be offered new deals.

Alongside the 10 players who will be released, Colin Doyle, Zeno Ibsen Rossi, Zech Medley, Brandon Pierrick will all return to their parent clubs.

Kyle Lafferty, Greg Kiltie, Mitch Pinnock, Ross Millen, Calum Waters, Kyle Connell and Tomas Brindley have all been offered a new deal to remain with the Rugby Park outfit. Chris Burke and Kirk Broadfoot are both considering their next steps in football.

Rory McKenzie, Alan Power, Aaron McGowan, Brandon Haunstrup and Innes Cameron are already tied down for the 2021/22 campaign.

“It’s never a nice time when you’re releasing players, and I’d like to thank those leaving for their time at the club,” Wright told the Kilmarnock website.

“In particular, I’d like to thank Gary Dicker. He’s been a wonderful servant and captain for Kilmarnock, someone who I have a lot of time for.

“Difficult decisions have to be made as we look to build for the future.”