Kevin McStay has described Jack O'Connor's return to Kerry as "a bit of a public grab" and "a little bit ugly".
The Kingdom confirmed last week that O'Connor will be proposed for the role by the management committee for ratification on 4 October. It will be his third stint as manager of the senior footballers.
At the end of August O'Connor aired his interest in the role on the Irish Examiner football podcast, saying: "Of course, there is an allure there. Who doesn't want to coach Man United? There is that allure because of the tradition."
At that time Peter Keane had not actually departed the hot seat, while O'Connor was still manager of Kildare.
On Friday Keane released his own statement claiming he had the full support of the players to continue in the job.
"[Keane's statement said], 'we were a united Kerry team with a great sense of purpose and ambition'. That's past tense. Does that suggest it's going be a difficult transition? I don't know," McStay told RTÉ's Saturday Sport when reflecting on the change in management.
"The manner in which it all came about was a little bit ugly, I'd have to say. There was a sense that the position was courted when there wasn't a vacancy - or a technical vacancy at the time.
"It was a disappointment that there was a kind of public grab. We all know this is a smashing Kerry team. They're going to win All-Irelands sooner rather than later, I'd have a great sense of that. There seemed to be a little bit of grabbing going on."
Commenting on the remarks O'Connor made on the podcast, McStay added: "To compare Kerry to Man United, Kildare to an easy life, pretty much all in the one podcast... when you're in a public position like that, the manager of Kildare of whom he had committed to as I understand, you have to be very careful with your utterances because after all you are the guardian of the county football team.
"There's a great responsibility and privilege involved in that.
"I just had the sense that it was messy, that it was an ugly crossover.
"Now Jack O'Connor a brilliant manger. He wins All-Irelands so you can see Kerry want to have it in safe hands and get winning championships, that's all that matters down there.
"It's a brilliant appointment that way but he's certainly yanked up the pressure on himself because everyone knows this is a smashing team and there's only one result that counts down there now."