I caught an interesting piece of stuff in The Guardian yesterday; one of their lead writers is talking about how Rodgers expects a big transfer kitty in the coming window, all the better to take Leicester to the next level. How do their writers know that?
They know it because Rodgers is using them to send a message to his board. I think they would do very well to consider that a final notice. He is telling them straight that they have to start backing him. The unspoken part of it is what he’ll do if they don’t.
We know what he might do. Because he was sending the same messages to our board, via the media, in the summer before he left.
Rodgers is an arrogant man and I believe he had one eye on the exit.
But when he told our board, and then confirmed to the media, that he had not pushed to go to China when someone there offered him a fortune the message could not have been clearer; “I’ve shown you loyalty, now I expect to be backed.”
We know that summer was a disaster for his relationships at the club. He didn’t get a single footballer on his list.
Even John McGinn didn’t sign, when Lawwell tried his dire poker game with the Hibs board. Rodgers cried foul in the media. Lawwell bit back. That was that. By the winter it was clear we were planning for life when he was gone. We tried to force a player he didn’t want down his throat in that window, and he was gone a month later.
This is what he’s doing now.
Maybe not working his ticket – although that would not surprise me one bit – but certainly making it plain that he won’t be a whipping boy if his club doesn’t show the right level of ambition. He’s getting his excuses in, whether that’s for the circumstance of a sacking or an offer elsewhere which he won’t refuse. He’s manoeuvring alright.
Part of the problem at Celtic is that people got a little tired of his posturing. Desmond knew he and Lawwell had fallen out and he got hold of them both and reminded me of the greater responsibility of representing our club. Neither was willing to back down over that, and that’s a problem with Rodgers as much as our former CEO.
When this guy thinks he’s been slighted or disrespected that’s the ball game. And I don’t doubt that there are people at Leicester who will grow weary of these constant shots across the bow. They may be better man managers than Lawwell was, but they have a limit as all of us ultimately do, and he seems like the kind of guy who would test your limits.
They will reach theirs eventually.
They will eventually get pissed off with having to stroke his ego, and you wonder if maybe they have already. This January window might be the moment where his will meets there. I would not bet on him blinking.