LEIGH GRIFFITHS admits he does “not have a bad word to say” about Ange Postecoglou.
It was the incoming Celtic manager who allowed the 31-year-old Scotland international striker to leave Parkhead in the summer – without seeing him kick a competitive ball for the team.
Griffiths agreed a season-long loan deal with Dundee, but that was scrapped at the turn of the year after the once-prolific hitman – scorer of 123 goals for the Hoops over an eight-year period – claimed a mere three in 17 appearances for the Dens Park outfit.
The controversial forward was returned to his parent club who paid up his contract before he moved to third-tier Falkirk on a short-term switch until the end of the season.
NOW YOU SEE ME…Leigh Griffiths in his final Celtic appearance in the pre-season friendly against West Ham.
Griffiths had been sent home from the team’s training camp in Wales in early July as the police carried out a probe which eventually cleared him of wrongdoing over online messages, as CQN reported at the time.
His only appearance after the arrival of Postecoglou the previous month came in a 45-minute outing against West Ham at Parkhead where he was booed by a section of his own support.
The one-time fans’ favourite admitted: “I did leave Celtic with regrets about the way it all ended. There was a story about me in the summer which was disappointing from my point of view. I spoke to people at Celtic and the other people involved in the entire investigation process.
“It was established that I hadn’t done anything wrong. That’s when I felt Celtic should have come out and said they had spoken to me and everyone else involved and that nothing had been found and I was free to continue playing and scoring for the club.
“Had they done so then that would have been it as there was nothing there.
“I was flung back into training and the new manager was absolutely unbelievable with me – I don’t have a bad word to say about Ange. I don’t have a bad word to say about anyone at Celtic.
THE 123rd -AND FINAL – GOAL…Leigh Griffiths heads past Aberdeen keeper Gary Woods in the 1-1 draw at Pittodrie in April last year.
“Ange had come in and it was his job to get the team up and running and he’s then hit with this bombshell. I had to come back and do a mini pre-season.”
Griffiths, speaking to the Sunday Mail, added: “Then I played against West Ham and it’s the lowest I have ever felt in football. I left that game, climbed into the car and drove back home.
“I was crying – that was the point that I knew my time was done at Celtic.
“I said it in the car home, I couldn’t do this any more.”
That was the last sighting of Griffiths, who had been bought by Neil Lennon from Wolves for £1.2million, in a Celtic strip.