Senior Celtic players intervened to get Leigh Griffiths help
Striker Griffiths, described by Rodgers yesterday as “vulnerable”, is to take indefinite leave from the Premiership champions to deal with his problems.
Rodgers acknowledged that matters had come to a head and Griffiths could no longer continue as part of the squad.
The Northern Irishman insisted he would not betray confidences about the problems which bedevilled 28-year-old Griffiths but, asked about rumours of a gambling problem that have dogged the former Hibernian player, he replied: “It’s more than that; it’s a culmination of things.”
Rodgers added that he had known about Griffiths’ difficulties for a period of time but a specific incident had triggered the club’s present course of action.
Asked about that, he replied: “Yes there was – which points towards [Griffiths] really needing help and support in order to make himself happy.
“I think a few of the guys were probably aware of it. A couple of the senior players rang me when I got to know about an incident that happened. I was then able to act from there.
“He wants the help. When you have these incidents – and it’s been ongoing over a considerable period of time – there comes a point when you recommend that this is what we do. We will get an assessment of where he is at professionally then put a plan in place for him.
“I’ve been aware of issues for a while and obviously I can never say to you guys [in the media] when you ask: ‘Is he fit?’ and so on. There is a confidence there I will never break. But I think it’s at a point where hopefully he can get that help.
“It’s more than football because he is a father of five children. We want to help them find the happiness and get him back playing.”