Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has confirmed that he will not play a part in the bands reunion tour this year.
Ward was due to join Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler on the road for a string of huge dates including a headline slot at Download festival in June. However, he was unable to agree a contract with the band as they wanted him to play some dates and not others, causing him to leave the band to replace him completely.
Writing on his official website, Butler said: ''I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued," he stated on his official website.
''It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I'm doing it.
"This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality. I can't prioritise the Sabbath fans making one show more important than the other. All of you are important. It's all the gigs or none at all.
''I hold no malice or resentment towards the other band members. I love them; I'm tolerant of them; I'm frustrated with them, as they may be with me. My fight has never been with them. I'll love them forever. In my opinion, nobody wins this time.''
It was recently confirmed that Black Sabbath will headline the Lollapalooza festival this August in Chicago.