Former Aberdeen full-back Kevin McNaughton says he was “peed off” by the narrative surrounding his Dons departure.
Now retired, McNaughton made more than 200 Reds appearances after his debut under Danish gaffer Ebbe Skovdahl in 2000.
Despite being in and out of the team under Steve Paterson, he was once against a mainstay under Jimmy Calderwood, however, left when his contract ran out in 2006.
Speaking on a bonus episode of the Press and Journal and Evening Express’ Northern Goal podcast, which is available on your favourite app, the Scotland international revealed he felt the Dons gave him a decision to make by being unwilling to negotiate after their opening offer on a new deal.
McNaughton said: “I’d come to a crossroads, it was weird.
“In my head I was going to sign again and Aberdeen never offered us a contract until two weeks before I could speak to other clubs.
“Like all negotiations, I never accepted my first offer, and they said ‘that’s all we’re offering’.
“So in those two weeks I was trying to renegotiate and then the two weeks (deadline) came and I was being offered contracts from different clubs.
“I didn’t sign (for Cardiff) until the season finished, but I told Jimmy after a month I was going to move on.
“If I had signed again at Aberdeen I would’ve seen out my career there, that was the way I felt.
“It wasn’t that I wanted to leave, but I thought ‘If I miss the boat here, will I look back and think maybe I should’ve explored some of these options’.
“I always wanted to have a crack down south, so when a Championship club came up I thought I’d go for it.”
Admitting there is still a tinge of regret to how things played out, McNaughton – who insists he hadn’t been asking for exorbitant sums of money – added: “If anything it (Aberdeen’s position) put me in a spot.
“I think they presumed I’d sign the contract.
“But they gave me the decision.
“If they’d come back with something (better) I would’ve signed. It wouldn’t have been a lot of money or anything like that.
“I read an article in the newspaper with Stewart McKimmie, where it said ‘Oliver Twist asking for more’. I had a picture of me as Oliver Twist holding a bowl. But it wasn’t anything like that.
“That peed us off a wee bit.”
McNaughton explained he chose Cardiff City because they showed ambition and were “keen” in their pursuit, in contrast to other suitors, which included Premier League new boys Watford, two other teams in the English Championships, as well as clubs in Holland and Norway. He went on to become a legend in south Wales.
The former full-back, who spent a year at Caley Thistle on his return to Scotland, also talked to Northern Goal about Skovdahl’s new-age training methods, the Dons foreign imports and playing in the FA Cup and English League Cup finals, as well as his experience of eccentric Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan and team-mates like Robbie Fowler, Craig Bellamy and Aaron Ramsey.