Brendan conned us all…

He came to Celtic telling stories of his love for the club. A supporter man and boy who was privileged to work with the late Tommy Burns.

The “dream job”, as he put it, was also a dream appointment for all of the fans. We were all in – hook, line and sinker.

And how could we question his adoration after delivering an invincible treble in his first season? Simultaneously putting us back on the Champions League stage.

In season two he delivered an unprecedented double treble with slightly better progress in Europe. The football wasn’t as good as the first season, but we were jubilant with back-to-back trebles nonetheless.

Then last summer matters hit the skids and the wheels came off. Players leaving, players wanting to leave, players not coming in.

Internal struggles with the board and/or Peter Lawwell appeared to be at the heart of the breakdown. Numerous comments to the media by Rodgers seemed to cast a shadow over the club.

The summer of discontent began with the departure of Stuart Armstrong (an unsurprising exit), failure to land John McGinn (a long expected signing), wantaway rebel Dedryck Boyata (a disruptive farce) and eleventh hour departure of Moussa Dembele (a knife in the back). And who can forget about that lucrative Chinese offer Brendan had to tell us about after he’d turned it down?

The fractures from last summer never fully healed. Initially we all levelled blame at the board, but after Rodgers’ sharp exit I’m re-evaluating that.

As a Liverpool fan in the family advised me last summer, Brendan had a bit of an ego problem. I wasn’t entirely certain then but I am now.

Even the comments of Dembele make for good reading now. Might there be more to last summer’s breakdown than we realise?

For Rodgers to walk out at such a crucial stage in the season is unforgivable. It’s clear he wanted out, but could have retained his credibility and stayed until the end of the season.

What’s disappointing is that he’s settled for a mid-table club who’ll probably win nothing whilst he’s there. Leicester City won the league for the first time in their history three years ago, but don’t expect that to ever happen again in our lifetime.

He’s their third manager since they sacked Ranieri two years ago. He might be the right fit for Leicester now, but for how long?

Brendan has conned the supporters and players to jump ship at the first sight of Premier League land. I’ve held him in high regard since his days at Swansea, but now that is all undone.

I can’t take away what he’s achieved. It’s astonishing.

To walk away from Celtic whilst on the brink of history though, I cannot begin to fathom. It’s clear he never had the affection he claimed to have for Celtic.

No true Celtic fan walks away from the club in this manner. You just wouldn’t.

It’s career suicide. Especially to a club like Leicester City, who are 11 points from the relegation zone.

I’d love to wish him all the best, but I can’t. He betrayed us with his hollow words.

Obviously he’ll have the cash to spend at Leicester that Celtic didn’t. He won’t enjoy European football though, domestic silverware or the legendary status he had in Glasgow.

He’s actually lost all respect amongst the Celtic fans now. In years to come it will be interesting to reflect upon this and see how it rests in Celtic history.

Brendan’s followed the money for sure, but Leicester won’t replicate the success of three years ago. That ship has sailed.

In the interim, Celtic have installed former interim and permanent manager Neil Lennon. It’s an ideal short term fix which will hopefully keep the momentum going.

Alongside him will be John Kennedy as assistant and Damien Duff as his number three. Tonight they’ll all be at Tynecastle, but who will be in the dugout has yet to be confirmed.

The task of preserving Celtic’s eight point lead at the top of the league is the priority. The team will be prepared by John Kennedy.

There’s obviously more at stake this season with a treble in sight. The disruptive nature of Rodgers’ exit though could be just the invitation other Scottish clubs needed to halt Celtic’s domination.

The hard work for Lennon, Kennedy and Duff begins this evening. Let’s hope they can see it through to the summer.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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