Noel Whelan has suggested playing time was the driving force behind Scott Brown’s decision to quit Celtic for Aberdeen.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Dons striker insisted the 35-year-old would be a “massive loss” off the pitch for the Bhoys.

Celtic confirmed earlier this week the midfielder would leave Parkhead for Pittodrie to take on a player-coach role from next season.

Brown has made 604 appearances for the Hoops, helping them to 10 league titles and 12 domestic cups.

However, he has not been the ever-present he once was, with 20 league starts from a possible 33 his term.

Whelan suggested Brown would not want to fall further down the pecking order at Parkhead and moved to Aberdeen to play regularly..

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now


Asked how much Celtic would miss Brown, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Off the field more so. He’s one of these player that knows the club so well, he’s been their ever-present, hasn’t he? On that side of things, a massive loss.

“I could always see it happening after this season, I think most people could. Sometimes you’ve got to squeeze that last bit of juice out of your body.

“Finish your career playing rather than sitting there on the bench, just dwindling away. You don’t want to have any regrets, it’s too short,a football career.

“So he’s doing the right thing, he’s going to a club where he will get game time week in, week out. He’ll bring some experience that he’s had at Celtic, that winning mentality as well.

“That is really important in a group of players to have somebody like that, some really good leadership. We’ve seen how he’s lead Celtic for over 10 years now. He’s got a new challenge which he’s really going to enjoy and thrive at.”

In other news, Celtic close to hiring ‘Massive’ Hoops fan from Premier League giants, Lawwell’s son paves way.