New Rangers manager Walter Smith claims he would still be in charge of Scotland if he had been offered a contract extension by the Scottish FA.
Smith has taken Kenny McDowall and Ally McCoist to Ibrox
The SFA has vowed to take legal action against its former employee and his new club after his resignation.
But Smith said: "Rangers have offered me employment for the next three years.
"My job with Scotland was going to finish in November if we didn't qualify for the European Championship. I had to look after myself."
Smith had overseen a resurgence in Scotland's international performances and he realises that his departure will disappoint the passionate Tartan Army of fans.
But he said: "I would ask people what they would do in the same situation.
They forget I came to Scotland at a diabolical time
"I was asked if I wanted to enter into discussions about a new contract.
"I said I was happy with the situation the way it was, but that did not stop them from offering me one.
"If they had chosen to offer me an extended contract and I had signed it then I would not be leaving now. It's as simple as that.
"If I had signed an extension then I couldn't have walked out. In my eyes, that would have been wrong."
Smith believes that, instead of threatening court action, the SFA and president John McBeth should be grateful to him for easing the pressure on them after the often chaotic Berti Vogts era.
"What disappoints me most of all is when I took that job the president and the chief executive were being smuggled out of football stadiums in the back of cars," he said.
"People were calling for their heads and saying Scottish football was a shambles.
"So it annoys me that, for their own ends, they are now trying to make it look as if they are making it as difficult as possible for me to leave, when that is not the case.
"They forget I came to Scotland at a diabolical time. And this is the way they act at the end."
Former Scotland manager Craig Brown is surprised at the acrimonious departure.
"It's surprisingly messy," he said. "He's gone to another job; there's got to be compensation., but I just assumed David Murray would do an early deal with the SFA.
"I'm a Scotland fan and I'm very disappointed that Walter's leaving the job.
"I had hoped that, if the relationship had been better, Walter would have continued as Scotland boss part-time until the end of the current campaign, but that does not seem likely now."