Brendan Rodgers opens up to Jamie Carragher on Celtic exit

By Euan Davidson

April 27, 2021

Brendan Rodgers has talked about leaving Celtic in controversial circumstances.

Rodgers, who won two consecutive trebles with the Bhoys, left us distraught in February 2019 [Telegraph]. There was considerable confusion as to why Rodgers would leave Celtic, who were on the cusp of a Treble Treble. Since leaving Celtic, Rodgers has taken the Foxes to 9th place and 5th place finishes. They’ve impressed again this season, sitting third at the time of writing [Premier League].

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher, Rodgers said [Sky Sports Premier League (10:14pm, April 26, 2021]:

“I have always said it was such a tough decision for me to leave Celtic, Jamie, because I was a Celtic supporter growing up, but what I couldn’t do was let my heart rule my head.

“I felt that I needed the next challenge. Celtic is a huge institution in the game, but coming back here to Leicester, my challenge was, ‘Could we disrupt the top six?’”

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers / (Photo by Manchester City FC/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Recent history has vindicated Brendan Rodgers somewhat

As tough as it was to see him go, and as unpopular as he still is with Celtic supporters today, he did indeed come to Leicester and disrupt the top 6. If he can establish the Foxes as a regular Champions League side, then it’d be a pretty incredible achievement.

But it still sounds so unlikely that a “Celtic supporter” would find the lure of Leicester City so unavoidable. Especially on the cusp of a historic season with the club. If he’d left in the summer, nobody would’ve minded, but to leave just before important games to potentially seal the title? It’s still baffling.

But, there were some comments he made recently about the board that are particularly interesting, in terms of his departure from Celtic. Back in February, when discussing a Director of Football, Rodgers said [Daily Record]:

“At the highest level, in particular, it’s a role which is very important. I think in the modern game, it’s absolutely critical to have that.

“Obviously the manager has to be able to bring in players he wants because he’s accountable for what happens on the pitch. I’m pretty sure that’s something Celtic may be looking at.”

These are comments with interesting implications, as there were rumours that Brendan Rodgers wasn’t allowed to get the players he wanted, or the budget to make it possible. While we don’t know with certainty if there was a rift between himself and the board, it would certainly go some way to explain the suddenness of his exit from Celtic.

In any case, Rodgers is a very interesting man. These latest quotes will have supporters debating his legacy.

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