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Chris Sutton: Brendan Rodgers' Celtic legacy is tainted and he brought it on himself

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Former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

Former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

PA

Former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

Former Celtic ace Chris Sutton has fired a fresh volley at Brendan Rodgers over quitting the Hoops to manage Leicester City.

Rodgers walked out on the Scottish champions as he wanted a new challenge with a return to the Premier League.

But Sutton, 47, has stuck the boot into the Carnlough-born boss in his new book and claimed "his legacy is now tainted".

The ex-striker, who bagged 63 goals in 130 games from 2000-2006, said "fans can get let down by words they take at face value".

He said: "A key example of this is the case of Brendan Rodgers and Celtic Football Club. During his time as manager at Celtic Park, Rodgers came out with all the things that the faithful wanted to hear.

"'I was born into Celtic'. 'There is not a place I could be in this world right now where I'd be happier in my football life and my personal life'. 'I don't see Celtic as a stepping stone, I want to be here as long as I can'. 'I'm in the best job in the world'.

"Not for one moment am I saying that Brendan Rodgers wasn't a phenomenally successful manager during his time in Glasgow. Seven successive major trophies in 33 months is an astonishing return for anyone.

"It's just that all this silverware didn't seem to be enough to satiate Rodgers' ambition and he left to take the reins at Leicester City instead.

"That was a curious move for anyone currently employed in the best job in the world, especially when an unprecedented treble-treble was very much on the cards.

"Why would you leave with the prospect of that record success on the near horizon? More specifically, why would you go having made what had appeared to be hand-on-the-heart personal allegiances to the particular ship you have now so willingly jumped from?

"I wouldn't say those words from early in Rodgers' reign were throwaway, but they weren't completely thought out. Was he being honest with fans? Or himself?"

In his book, You're Better Than That! How To Fix Modern Football, Sutton said that 47-year-old Rodgers ruined his place in Celtic folklore and also claimed he "left under a cloud".

He said: "Yes, he went on to preside over one of the most fruitful periods in the club's history, but his legacy is now tainted by the timing of his departure and those words which came back to haunt him.

"He left mid-season, on the cusp of that extraordinary record, when he could easily have seen the season out, secured the ninth and final trophy before admitting, 'You know what? I've had an amazing time, but I think I've done as much as I can'.

"The fact that he quit his boyhood club for a then middling side down south made those loyalty statements ring hollow. It's probably easy to say he brought it on himself, but he did, didn't he?

"Why would you make such committed public comments which later return to bite you on the backside? When he could have departed with total respect, he left under a huge cloud."

Belfast Telegraph