Chris Sutton has criticised the timing of Brendan Rodgers’ imminent Celtic departure and suggested the manager has let fans down as he enters talks with Leicester City.
Leicester are looking for a new manager after sacking Claude Puel and, on Tuesday, Celtic confirmed that they had “very reluctantly” granted the Foxes permission to speak to Rodgers.
The 46-year-old won all three domestic honours in his first two seasons in charge at Parkhead and appeared on course to repeat that achievement again in a third campaign.
Former Celtic striker Sutton therefore questioned Rodgers’ decision to move to a mid-table Premier League club at this stage, while he questioned the coach’s past comments about his “dream job” in Glasgow.
“It looks like Brendan Rodgers is off to Leicester City and, quite frankly, it stinks,” Sutton said in a video posted to BT Sport’s Twitter page.
“The timing of it stinks. He’s going to a club who are playing for absolutely nothing. They’re not going to get relegated, not going to get into Europe, and I am really disappointed.
“I think there are a lot of Celtic fans out there who will feel let down. This was the job which Brendan said was his ‘dream job’. Why is he going now to a club who have nothing to play for?
“It looks like Neil Lennon will get the opportunity [to manage Celtic] and I wish him well.
Neil Lennon looks like he’s back in at Celtic… Brendan Rodgers off to Leicester… surprising timing for Brendan to leave now and not in the summer…
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) February 26, 2019
“In terms of how Brendan has left the club, I think he’s left the club in a tough situation. [They have had] short-term loans and losing the centre-half pairing and the right-back in the summer.
“There’s a big overhaul which needs doing but, at the moment, it’s about the here and now.”
Providing a review of Rodgers’ time in charge at Celtic, Sutton praised his domestic exploits but said the former Liverpool boss found life in European competition “too tough”.
He also offered a potential reason for Rodgers’ departure, suggesting his relationship with chief executive Peter Lawwell may never have recovered from a tough close-season transfer market.
“Domestically, Brendan has clean-sweeped and it’s been fantastic,” he said. “Europe has been too tough for Brendan, as it has been for a lot of Celtic managers.
“He’s been very negative of late. There has been a breakdown in the relationship with Peter Lawwell – Brendan threw him under the bus earlier in the season and, from that moment you’re thinking, ‘This isn’t going to last’.
“The bottom line is the timing of this absolutely stinks. Brendan Rodgers is a top coach and I certainly wish him well. But come on, Brendan, the timing is poor.”
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