Former Celtic legend Peter Grant has disclosed that he turned down the offer of a three-year contract before leading the Hoops in 1997 and missing out on helping the club to a first title in 10 years, the Daily Record reports.
Grant had been a mainstay at Celtic for more than a decade, winning two league titles. However, he decided to leave the club around the start of the 1997-98 season. He was concerned about a lack of first-team football.
Grant was offered a deal by Celtic boss Wim Jansen, but turned it down. He has no regrets over this decision, even though he missed out on stopping Rangers win 10 in a row.
“Wim asked me to stay”
“Wim asked me to stay and offered me a three-year deal that would have kept me there until I was 35. I was flattered but knocked it back and told him: ‘I’ve no doubt I can play in your team this season and if you bring in better players I might be in and out of the team'” Grant said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
Grant eventually moved to Norwich. He was at Celtic Park as a fan though on that legendary day when Celtic beat St Johnstone to clinch the title.
“I was sitting in the front row of the directors box for the St Johnstone game…it was an unbelievable feeling and not a single feeling of regret or jealousy that I wasn’t on the pitch” Grant concluded.
That is certainly an interesting bit of information divulged by Grant. Wim Jansen really must have been impressed with the midfielder if he offered him a three-year deal. However, as Grant says it would have been difficult for him to hold down a first-team spot.
Would have struggled for games
Therefore, he probably did the right thing in deciding to move on from Celtic.
The Celtic midfield that season was anchored by Craig Burley and eventually Paul Lambert. There is no way that Grant would have got in the side ahead of those two.
The good news is that he doesn’t seem to regret not playing at Celtic Park as the Hoops stopped 10 in a row. It would have been a pity if he harboured that regret.