Former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has reiterated his “love” for Celtic as he once again offers justification for his sudden exit from the club.
Fans were stunned when Rodgers hit the button on the ejector seat in February and tore everything from the club minus John Kennedy and the copper piping.
Kennedy later revealed that Rodgers tried to entice him to Leicester and it was Rodgers’ ruthlessness as much as his timing that led to much of the ire aimed at him.
The Foxes’ boss seemed stunned by the criticism at the time and has attempted on numerous occasions to mend his reputation.
This time, speaking with Jamie Carragher in the Telegraph, Rodgers reveals that Leicester was “too good an opportunity” for him to resist as he turned his back on what became an historic season.
He said: “I lived my dream managing Celtic, a club I supported. That journey will always be with me. But every manager and players will have goals and objectives they want to achieve in their career.
“Your situation can change very quickly. We won seven trophies on the spin and if I felt I could not take Celtic further it had to be the right club and I thought Leicester was too good an opportunity to turn down.
“The timing was not ideal but I left the team in a good place.”
With Leicester sitting in third place in the league, Rodgers may feel vindicated in his decision. But evidently he’s still smarting from the reaction of the Celtic support that had revered him.
Rodgers is a man for whom the percentages mattered on the pitch and did his best to make sure the team were primed to make every advantage, even a minuscule one, count.
Having gone to war with Peter Lawwell, from which there would emerge only one winner remaining at the club, he would have been pragmatic to know it wouldn’t be him.
Leicester wouldn’t have been his first offer, or perhaps his preferred choice, but leaving when he did would have given him the satisfaction of seeing the fans turn the heat on the chief executive.
It didn’t turn out that way and it’s a miscalculation that, going by his repeated attempts to get into the Celtic fans’ good books, continues to irk him.
Lawwell was far from blameless, but no one will ever believe that the relationship between the pair was so unworkable that he couldn’t have seen out the season. And, no matter how many times he says it, it’s hard to imagine that Leicester was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that he simply couldn’t turn down.
He blew it and that’s as much a part of his Celtic history as winning trophies was. No words will ever change that.