Football: Parkhead puzzle needs solution

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THE CELTIC head coach, Wim Jansen, put pen to paper yesterday, but to the continuing anguish of the Parkhead faithful, his signature was on a statement rather than an extended contract.

The Dutchman's tersely worded press release was his only comment on his uncertain future and did little to resolve it except to promise he will make a "clear decision in due course."

This came after Jansen revealed on Monday that in his current three-year contract he has a clause which allows him to leave in the summer and is "still thinking" about his plans.

Other than reiterating his "disappointed" stance regarding Jansen making a private contractual agreement public knowledge, Celtic's general manager, Jock Brown, was at his most reticent, deflecting every question about Jansen.

Brown insisted he believed it "not in the club's interests" to react to Jansen's latest statement, adding only: "Wim has said it all. We now want this matter to rest."

In what resembled an affidavit, Jansen's signed statement read: "I am disappointed in the way that information regarding my contract has appeared in the media.

"I want to make it clear I have had no part in this and at no time has the issue been about money.

"The reason I spoke out on Monday is that I wanted the truth to be known. I asked for a clause in my contract that would enable myself and Celtic to review the situation after my first season.

"I have had some discussions with the club this week and these will continue in the coming weeks. There is no April 1 deadline. I want to assure everyone that I fully intend to be at Celtic at least until the end of the season. As for the future I will make a clear decision in due course. I have nothing further to say on this matter."

The turmoil at the club is such that even today's top v second match against Hearts at Parkhead has become overshadowed. Third-placed Rangers are at Dunfermline.