Griffin's Tannadice joy
DUNDEE United defender Danny Griffin has dealt a blow to several clubs who have been chasing his signature, by pledging his future to the Tannadice club yesterday.
The Northern Ireland international had been considering his options after a number of clubs, including Hibernian and Aberdeen, expressed interest in the player. But with United having made a few alterations to their offer of a new contract, the 25 year-old has now opted to stay on Tayside for another 12 months.
"I made it clear from day one that I always wanted to remain a Dundee United player, and if the terms were right for me and the club then I would be delighted to stay," insisted Griffin. "It’s great to have things settled and I can now relax and look forward to the new season.
"The three years I have been here have been stop-start for me due to injury, and the team has been at the wrong end of the table for much of the time. But now, with the right manager in, we are a club going places and I want to be part of that - it is a fresh start for me, too."
Despite the fact that he has been making a determined effort to shake up his playing staff over the summer, United manager Ian McCall was quick to express delight that, having recently retained the services of Charlie Miller, he has managed to hold on to another of the club’s current talents.
"I am thrilled that Danny Griffin has decided to stay, as he is an adaptable player both in defence and in midfield and his experience will be invaluable during next season’s campaign," enthused McCall.
"I am trying to bring in new players, but nonetheless there are a lot of good footballers already at the club, and Danny is quite clearly one of them."
Meanwhile, the United chairman, Eddie Thompson, has mixed business with pleasure by unveiling his grocery company as the club’s new shirt sponsors. Morning, Noon and Night have pledged a six-figure sum over the next 12 months, which follows the collapse of a proposed deal with the Saudi Arabian airline, Emirates.
Thompson’s son, Stephen, who is marketing director of Morning, Noon and Night, and also has a seat on the Dundee United board, said: "Under the circumstances we have had to look quickly for a new sponsor to ensure the club did not suffer financially in the short term.
"Morning, Noon and Night has proved to be the perfect vehicle for this as we were looking for ways to increase the company profile throughout Scotland. It is a great deal for everyone concerned."
United also unveiled their new home and away strips yesterday - the all-Tangerine home strip has been launched as a tribute to the forthcoming tenth anniversary of United’s Scottish Cup win - and at the same time insisted that Duncan Ferguson won’t be handed the chance to play in them.
The controversial Everton striker had been linked with a return to the club where he started his career, by way of a loan deal from Goodison Park.
But United have poured cold water over the reports on two counts - finance and fitness. The club believe that such a move would cost too much, and they are also not prepared to gamble on the former Scotland player because of his well documented injury troubles.
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