FORMER Celtic striker John Hartson has admitted Brendan Rodgers made a FOOL out of him.
And the Welshman, now a top media pundit, insists the Irishman sullied the memory of what he achieved as Celtic manager by his abrupt departure from the club a week ago.
Rodgers still had over two years of a lucrative contract to run when he defected to mid-table Leicester City only 24 hours before a crucial Premiership encounter against Hearts at Tynecastle and a Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hibs at Easter Road three days later.
Hartson’s former team-mate Neil lennon answered the club’s SOS to return in an interim basis and guide the team to a double success in Edinburgh and he is now looking forward to Saturday’s tussle against Aberdeen at Parkhead which is already a 60,000 sell-out.
The former international frontman was far from impressed by the actions of the one-time Swansea and Liverpool gaffer and accused him of sneaking out the side door as he made his exit from the club.
Hartson, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I cover Leicester a lot in my work for television and I have to say that I am looking forward to bumping into Brendan Rodgers.
“I am reluctant to go over all of this much more because I think Neil Lennon deserves the chance to get on and get to work without it always hanging over him, but Brendan let a lot of people down.
“And I feel that I am one of them.
“He sucked me in. He sucked a lot of people in. He made a fool of me.
TWO FOR THE ROAD…Brendan Rodgers and Kolo Toure at Lennoxtown before last week’s rapid exit.
“Here I am telling every man and his dog that Brendan is loving his life in Glasgow, that he is loving Celtic and he wants to stay for 10. I know Brendan. I got to know him years ago at Swansea, so it’s not just a new relationship for me.
“But he had the wool over my eyes. So, I am looking forward to bumping into him at Leicester.
“I won’t say publicly what I plan on saying to him, but you can be sure that I will get my point across.
“And I totally get why the Celtic fans are so angry.
“They have every right to be. Yes, he was a brilliant manager for the club. He had the team playing some fabulous football and there are some memories to be cherished from his 32-month reign at the club.
“But he has sullied it. The way he left out a side door is nothing short of a disgrace and short-changes everyone who was right behind him.
“If I were in his shoes in a quiet moment of self-reflection, I would be looking in the mirror and thinking to myself: ‘Was I fair? Was that the right way to act?’.
“I would know deep down that I was at it, but the thing with Brendan is that he has a huge stubborn streak, so he’ll probably tell himself he done nothing wrong.
“But he did. He jumped ship at a point in the season when he was needed to go and get the Treble Treble.
“He held all the aces. All he had to say (to Leicester) was let me get to May and I’m yours. May. It’s nothing. A matter of weeks.
“That’s what the anger is about. Not the fact that he left, but when he did it and how he did it.
“It felt sneaky and people won’t forget that.”