Football: Viduka pledges to play for Celtic

CELTIC'S RUNAWAY striker Marko Viduka last night begged to be left alone to get on with his recuperation from stress, after confirming his intention to restart his aborted career in Glasgow.

The 23-year-old Australian headed home to his family in Melbourne yesterday after discussions with the Parkhead managing director Fergus McCann, his advisors IMG and his former club Croatia Zagreb.

Viduka is not expected to return to Scotland until the new year after fleeing to Zagreb on Sunday, complaining of depression just five days after joining the reigning champions.

The complicated payment of his pounds 3m transfer fee - understood to include a substantial figure to the player - appears to remain unresolved, with McCann asking for Fifa assistance in the matter.

McCann and Eric Riley, Celtic's financial director, are believed to favour an agreement that withholds the payment due to Viduka pending his return, while Zagreb are expecting their instalment by the end of the week.

In a joint statement by the player and McCann last night, Viduka pleaded for sympathy for his plight and vehemently denied his actions were linked in any way to the alleged financial shortfall to him.

"Of course I regret that my intention to play for Celtic has not yet been fulfilled," he said. "I do appreciate the club's understanding. All I want right now is to be left alone to recover from the stress of my last few months in Zagreb.

"I want to play football again soon, and when I am ready, I want it to be for Celtic. I want to make it absolutely clear that as far as I am concerned this is not about money. My only concern is getting back to total fitness and honouring my commitments. I hope people realise that I have been honest and up front, I am not the sort of guy to try and hide my feelings."

McCann, who flew to Zagreb yesterday in an attempt to rescue his investment in Viduka, declared himself satisfied with the agreement reached over the player in his present state of unfitness.

"The Zagreb officials recognised that the purpose of the transfer - for Celtic to obtain the player, ready, willing and able to play - had not been achieved," he said. "We are hopeful that with their understanding and co-operation, the matter can be resolved effectively and amicably.

"We also hope that the assistance and advice of the football bodies, principally Fifa, will be available to deal with this situation fairly, as necessary. The player and his representatives have been very co-operative and we appreciate his difficult position."

Whether that involves the full transfer of Viduka's fee at the present time remains unclear, although a Zagreb spokesman, Goran Bradic, earlier confirmed that his club are expecting an instalment in the next few days.

"We are expecting payment from Celtic at the end of this week," he said. "We were never worried because the law is on our side. Celtic must pay and they said they will."

Meanwhile, the Scotland striker Ally McCoist last night accused Aberdeen's under-achievers of failing their former manager, after Alex Miller became the latest man to vacate the Pittodrie job.

The Kilmarnock player laid the blame for Miller's demise firmly at the feet of the Aberdeen players, after learning that Craig Brown's Scotland No 2 was on his way out of the door after barely a year in the job.

McCoist and his team-mates helped seal Miller's fate on Saturday by humbling woeful Aberdeen 4-0 at Rugby Park.

"It was a poor performance on Saturday and they haven't been playing very well at all lately," said McCoist.

"But the players have got to take a good look at themselves because they have really underachieved for the last few years. They have some real quality players up there and they should be doing better than they are."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future