Journalist Stuart Hodge has slammed Celtic for failing to back Brendan Rodgers prior to his departure from the club in 2019.
What did Hodge say about Rodgers' Celtic exit?
Having taken charge of Celtic in 2016, Rodgers had an extremely successful stint in charge, winning back-to-back domestic trebles in his first two seasons.
He was on course for a third treble, before he left the club in February 2019 to join Premier League outfit Leicester City.
At the time, it appeared to be an abrupt exit on Rodgers' part, but Hodge has claimed that the Northern Irishman decided to leave the club several months earlier when the side were knocked out of the Champions League in the final qualifying round by AEK Athens.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about that moment, he said: “Things like the club not backing Brendan Rodgers going into the AEK Athens qualifier, and he said ‘get me a £10-£15m defender.’ Instead, he’s going out there with a Dedryck Boyata, who doesn’t even want to play for the club anymore. That was the moment where Rodgers decided he was going to leave because he thought: ‘I’ve taken you kicking and screaming into the Champions League twice”, and got the pay-off.
“Also, speculate to accumulate, right? You’ve got a £30m pot, so spend £10-£15m to make sure you get that pot, right? Because you’ve had it two years in a row and you’ve had a manager who’s proven he can get you there. Unbeaten season, domestic trebles, I mean, back the guy, right?”
How have Celtic fared since he left?
The Hoops went on to win the title three months after Rodgers left as they finished nine points clear of Rangers, and they retained their crown the following year.
However, they failed to make it ten league championships in a row last term when they were overtaken by Steven Gerrard's men, who amassed over 100 points in a dominant campaign for the Gers.
Meanwhile, Celtic have struggled to make inroads in Europe, as they have not made it past the last 32 in the Europa League since Rodgers moved on.
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Should they have backed him when they had the chance?
Looking back, it appears that Celtic probably should have backed Rodgers, and helped him strengthen the squad as they have been unable to kick on, and are currently chasing Rangers rather than being the standout side in Scotland.
Then again, Rodgers had been at the club for almost three years when he left, and there is an argument that he had achieved everything, meaning that he was ready to take a different challenge.
It always seemed likely that he would return to the Premier League at some stage, so even if Celtic's board had backed him, there is no guarantee that he'd have stuck around and rejected Leicester's offer.News Now - Sport News