Brendan Rodgers has vehemently hit back at claims from north of the border that he has betrayed Celtic.
The 46-year-old joined Leicester on a three-and-a-half year deal on Tuesday after walking out of Parkhead to embark on something special.
A banner was unveiled during Celtic’s 2-1 win at Hearts in midweek calling Rodgers a fraud while a video shared online showed supporters chanting abuse at their former manager in a pub.
At his Leicester press conference on Friday the Daily Record report that “a look of horrified incredulity washes across the face of Brendan Rodgers when he’s told that his decision to bail out on Celtic has been received by the club’s supporters as the biggest single act of betrayal since Maurice Johnston crossed the great divide to sign for Rangers more than 30 years ago”.
“Is it that bad?” said Rodgers. “So who is fuelling that? Where is it coming from?”
The Scottish paper also claimed Rodgers appears to be “genuinely shaken by this news from up north”.
Rodgers was then asked what message he would give to the Celtic fans: “I’d ask them, ‘What the f*** are you doing?’Bloody hell, I’m one of you!’.
“Okay, I made a career decision. But that doesn’t make me any less of a Celt.
“A fraud? Someone who turned up at half seven every morning of his life? Who was in there until all hours of the night? Who took over 60 games a season, preparing a team, changing a culture and a standard at a club, filling the support again?
“It is sad if it has gone that way. If it is to this depth, for someone who has given so many happy memories to a lot of people and has left the club in the position they are in with the stability, it is sad. I haven’t exactly left a sinking ship.”
Asked if he knew there would be a backlash, he nodded and added: “I understand it as a Celtic supporter myself. That’s the difference.
“Someone showed me the banner when I was at the Leicester under-18 game the other night. Of course, it takes you aback a wee bit. But the supporters are hurting and I understand that.
“It’s a shame, of course, because from the moment I walked into Celtic, I gave my life to the club. I put everything into the training and preparation of the team. A lot of the people wouldn’t know that.
“I then had to make a decision on an opportunity I felt would keep me moving as a manager.
“I said before when I was at Celtic, I had no interest in standing still. People have asked me about the glass ceiling and all that stuff.
“But I felt we had won the seven trophies and we were in a great position to have success again this year.
“I could have stayed and said, ‘I’ve won this and that’ but then maybe the opportunity to make the next career step wouldn’t have been there in the summer.”