The midfielder has revealed that Rodgers, back in Glasgow for the first time yesterday for Billy McNeill’s requiem mass, remains in contact with a number of the Celtic players and has insisted that there was nothing disingenuous about the Northern Irishman’s credentials as a supporter of the club.
Brown also spoke of his optimism that time will reframe the current narrative around the 47-year-old’s tenure among the Celtic support.
There remains a simmering anger among many at the swiftness of Rodgers’ departure for Leicester City in February with Celtic on course for a treble treble. The accusation among the support is that Rodgers overplayed his affinity with the club and hammed up his Celtic allegiances.
“The only reason we really got him at Celtic was because he was a diehard Celtic fan,” protested Brown.
“He has gone back down the road now and we should just wish him all the best and go from there. We wouldn’t have had the double treble without him. We wouldn’t have the opportunity to be eight points clear when he left ,with the chance of another Scottish Cup as well.
“For me he was a genius when he came in.
“I’m hoping that could happen one day [that he could come back], it would be amazing. I think when people look back in ten years time and see how well he did and look at his record of coming here, competing for seven trophies and winning all seven, they will see it’s not a bad record.”
And Brown also referred to Rodgers’ texts as proof of what he perceives as an authentic and enduring affection for the club.
“I speak to him quite a lot,” he said. “We just speak in general. The way his team has been playing, how I am getting on, how he is getting on. It’s just mates’ chat really. That won’t change. Brendan’s reputation – for me – is unbelievable.
“He is always texting me before games, he is always texting after games. He is still taking a real interest in Celtic. He loves the club inside and out and a lot of the lads are still speaking to him.
“A manager that didn’t support the club or especially like the club could easily have left, deleted his contacts, changed his number and started a brand new career at Leicester. It just shows you the man that he is that he still keeps in contact. He was definitely genuine enough in what he said.”
Brown was the one player Rodgers confided in about leaving the club and there remains a sense that the Celtic captain owes a debt to him for bringing out the best football of his career.
“He made the last two and a half years of my career so exciting,” said Brown. “He pushed me on to levels I would never have hit if he hadn’t come in and put that trust and belief into me.
“I felt lucky to have a manager of his quality who left Liverpool after coming to within two games of winning an English title for the first time in so many years. For him to come to Celtic was fantastic.
“We managed to change the way we played under Brendan. We maybe weren’t the best team to watch in the past, but Brendan came in and took all the criticism of us trying to play out from the back. Now everyone wants us to play out from the back every single game and that’s down to that man taking the time and patience and settling the club down.”