Outgoing skipper Scott Brown says the managerial uncertainty at Celtic prompted him to be "selfish" and accept the security of a two-year deal as Aberdeen player-coach.
After 22 trophies in his 14-year spell, Brown departs this summer to join new Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass' set-up.
The 35-year-old says he was offered a 12-month extension at Celtic, who have been without a manager since Neil Lennon's exit in February.
"It was a hard situation," Brown said.
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"For me to have that fresh start with someone I know, trust and respect fully, or be sitting at Celtic until the end of the season not sure what to do or who's coming in, that played on my mind.
"I've got to look at the selfish point of view as well, I can't just go in there and run a dressing room and be the guy where I still believe I can play football.
"Aberdeen offered me a two-year deal and I couldn't turn it down.
"It's about being part of that coaching staff as well, to learn as much as I can under Stephen and work towards my goal of being a manager one day but also trying to play as long as I can."
Brown is relishing the challenge of winning over any Aberdeen fans opposed to his appointment after his run-ins with the likes of Shay Logan and Graeme Shinnie in previous seasons.
"I had to win over the fans at Hibs coming through as a young lad," he added.
"I had to win over the fans at Celtic as well and I am sure there will be some in both sets of fans who still don't like the way I play but you can't please everybody.
"Whoever I play for, I will give 110% and always do what is best for the club."
Before then, Brown is braced for an "emotional" Celtic departure and wants to leave having won a fifth consecutive Scottish Cup, with the holders beginning at home to League 1 leaders Falkirk on Saturday.
"I'm looking forward to playing as many games as possible until the end of the season, hopefully getting to another cup final as well," he added.
"I've had 14 fantastic years at this club and enjoyed every single moment. It's been a wonderful career. It's just a pity I can't share the last remaining games with the fans in the stadium."
'Everything won't just crumble' - Kennedy
The scale of Celtic's rebuild escalated on Wednesday when head of football operations Nick Hammond stepped down.
Lennon resigned five weeks ago amid the club's failed bid for a 10th successive title, while chief executive Peter Lawwell will be replaced by Scottish Rugby counterpart Dominic McKay on 1 July.
Interim manager John Kennedy defended Hammond's record, with striker Albian Ajeti and goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas among the expensive summer signings who have failed to impress.
"Recruitment was one facet of Nick's job, but it was across the football spectrum in different areas," said Kennedy.
"He set up a lot of processes behind the scenes that people won't know about to get us covering more areas around the world and brining more personnel in to look at players. It takes time to build on that.
"After such a huge period of success, everything doesn't just come crumbling down. There's a lot of good foundations and good people here and it's then about replacing the guys moving out and keeping things moving forward."