Yesterday, something pretty astonishing happened. After years of silence on the matter, Brendan Rodgers finally laid out his justifications for leaving Celtic Park the way he did. In doing so, he showed that what Brendan values above all else is his own reputation management. He didn’t have to make these disclosures, so why did he?
Brendan Rodgers, not to put too fine a point on it, has brazenly used our club to send a warning to his current employers. That’s what he’s up to. The cynicism of it is breath-taking.
He has no shame whatsoever, and no loyalty to anything but himself.
He’s been asked this question a hundred times, so why now has he answered it? He left because of lack of investment in the team, he says, because the club couldn’t meet his ambitions for it.
Without a doubt, that’s part of the story, but only part of it … we know he didn’t get on with a certain person inside the walls, but Rodgers had one eye on the exit anyway.
Why’s this come up now, all of a sudden? It’s because he wants to warn the Leicester board that he left Celtic when the money wasn’t there for him to strengthen and he won’t hesitate to jump ship if they don’t find the cash to fund his grand designs.
What balls this guy has to pull a stroke like this, one that I’m sure they’ll recognise for exactly what it is. He’s laying the groundwork for his rupture with the club, he’s doing it openly and in public view.
The last time I saw something as undisguised and naked as this was when Gordon Brown went on TV during his feud with Tony Blair and suggested that no-one wanted to see him dragged out of Downing Street in the manner of Margaret Thatcher.
Rodgers left Celtic for a multitude of reasons.
Part of the reason he didn’t get backed that window was that Celtic knew he already had a foot out the door.
He had made that plain when he went public with the China story, and there were other things happening behind the scenes which no-one at Parkhead has ever publicly disclosed.
Oh don’t get me wrong, people at Celtic played their part in souring the relationship but they didn’t trust Rodgers as far as they could throw him anyway and with good reason. I wrote the other week that he was clearly on manoeuvres and setting his departure up; this is further proof that he really is manufacturing reasons for leaving his current club.
The irony of ironies is that he framed leaving Celtic as about wanting a real challenge, which reeks of his arrogance and his view that no-one could have done at Parkhead what he did.
If I were his bosses I’d be asking him, “isn’t this challenging enough for you now? Working with the players you’ve got, the squad you built, the money you’ve already spent? Not a challenge anymore, or just too big a one for your ego?”
It would be interesting to hear his answer.
In the meantime, he’s using Celtic to get one over on them.
That is without doubt a dreadful and desperate act and one we shouldn’t forget.