Kyle blames chairman for driving him out of Kilmarnock

Kevin Kyle claims Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston's behaviour towards him led to his decision to leave Rugby Park for Hearts.

The striker's disgruntlement with Johnston dates back to January, when he was involved in a row over remarks made in a newspaper.

"He put the nail in the coffin on my Kilmarnock career when he called me a liar live on radio," Kyle told BBC Scotland.

"And that's why I wouldn't sign for Kilmarnock - because, after that debacle, I lost all respect for him."

The player criticised the lack of a club doctor and then later claimed that the Killie chairman had asked him to discuss manager Jim Jefferies' tactics - a claim Johnston denied.

"It was fair enough for the chairman to put one side of the story across, but no-one else was allowed to," said Kyle, who had told Jefferies about what had happened.

"The only thing I maybe regret was being a bit naive when the papers phoned me regarding what had happened.

"They more or less told me the story, they knew the truth and more or less said it was better to put my point across, and I ended up putting it across.

"The Kilmarnock fans thought I was trying to start trouble within the club, which wasn't the case at all.

"I was just trying to do what I thought was right in my eyes, which was to tell the manager what was going on."

Jefferies departed Kilmarnock on January 11 and was announced as manager of Hearts 18 days later and was reunited with Kyle this week.

"It hurt me a lot," added Kyle.

"I was disappointed with the chairman, because I remember going for a haircut and I got into the car and one of the boys texted me to say put the radio on, and I heard an interview with Michael Johnston on the BBC.

"I was absolutely fuming.

"Just as I was about to phone a reporter I got a text message from the club saying none of the players were to speak to the press.

"I thought what I did was right, because me telling Jim Jefferies what had happened and doing well for Jim has worked out better for me in the long run because I'm at Hearts now and so is Jim Jefferies.

"Hearts are a far bigger club, a better club with far more prospects and ambitions.

"Kilmarnock are sitting with a squad of 13/14 players, no manager and I feel sorry for the fans because it's a good little club, if they can get it going.

"The chairman said to me after the last game of the season that he had appreciated what had happened and that he had a meeting with the bank, that he would get back to me in three weeks.

"The three weeks have past, and he still hasn't called, so that shows the kind of man he is.

"In the media, a lot of people know my mouth is a bit too big, but if there's one thing I don't do it's lie."

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