That is according to Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan, who claims to have spoken with the ousted Rangers boss shortly before his sacking was confirmed on Monday morning.
Van Bronckhorst is said to have been looking forward to welcoming back injured players and strengthening the side in the January transfer window when he was informed of the decision to remove him.
Speaking to Sky Sports, van der Kraan also suggested it was the Rangers ownership group – led by chairman Douglas Park – who pulled the plug rather than directors Ross Wilson and Stewart Robertson.
"I spoke to [van Bronckhorst] just before he was sacked and he was still very hopeful that he would be in charge," he said.
"He felt if he could get a couple of investments with new players and strengthening of the side he could turn things around.
"He's been in that position before with Feyenoord – a year later in Holland he made them champions with just a little budget. But he said to me, 'look when we sold Aribo and Bassey, a lot of money came in but the investment that came back into the team was very limited'.
"This is where he has been a victim of his own success. Having taken them to the Europa League final and winning the [Scottish] cup and having to work with a small group of players at the top level.
"Gio thought in the World Cup break, ‘we can recharge the batteries and the fitness of the players and then we can go back to normal’. I think he's very disappointed they did make that decision, and I have a feeling the decision wasn't made by the directors, but by the investors and the owners.
"I think the owners react quickly to the fans. Gio understands. He's a grown up manager, he's been in football for many years and been there as a player. He said if the fans go against you it's going to be difficult because that's a momentum pull for the board of directors or the owners. It's difficult for them to go against the fans and maybe that was the biggest problem for him that the atmosphere wasn't right any more."