Big John Signs New Contract

Last updated : 07 January 2005 By Kevin Smith

After several weeks of speculation and wait, John Hartson today finally put pen to paper, and signed a new contract. Hartson will now stay at Celtic until 2007, with the option of another year if he meets certain targets.

Hartson has become a fans' favourite since joining the club in August 2001. He was signed for £6 Million, a sum which the big Welshman has made up for in goals. This season he has been fantastic, he is currently the top goalscorer in the country.

Many fans were starting to lose patience over the amount of time it has taken for the club, player and his agent to agree on terms of the contract, but thankfully now, it is all done.

Hartson expressed his delight at signing for another two years. He said, "
I am very relieved to be honest because things were dragging on for a while, but as the manager said these things sometimes a bit longer than you’d like, but I am pleased to have signed and I am looking forward to the next two and a half years."

“Contrary to some reports that I was looking to move elsewhere and I was using interest from other clubs to hurry Celtic up in anyway wasn’t true at all. I always wanted to stay at Celtic and I made that clear to the manager on a number of occasions and it was just a case of sorting out a few of the finer details. I think my agent had had some phone calls from other clubs, enquiring on my situation but I am not sure whether there was anything concrete but, as I said, I never paid any real attention to it I was always positive that I would stay here.

“And again, contrary to reports I was reading that I was using other clubs, that’s not true at all. I can’t help clubs ringing my agent up to see what my position is. The bottom line was that I was out of contract in six months time and there was going to be enquiries.

“I just want to repeat the success I’ve had here over the past few years, winning the championship was obviously special in the first year I had here, the UEFA Cup run, the results we’ve had in Europe and just score plenty of goals and help the team achieve success. That’s really what I am here to do.”

Hartson signing is a good boost going into Sunday’s game – it is the equivalent of Celtic signing a new player. I’m delighted he will be here for a few more years, and I hope he can continue the form which he has been hitting this season.

Here’s hoping he’ll celebrate his new deal with a goal on Sunday.