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Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 13:22 GMT
Contract row freezes out Jackson
Darren Jackson may not wear the maroon again
Darren Jackson may not wear the maroon again
Darren Jackson has been frozen out of the first-team picture at Hearts because the cash-hit club do not want to give him a loyalty bonus he would be due by playing one more game.

The former Celtic and Hibernian striker has a clause in his existing contract stating that, if he plays 15 games this season, he automatically qualifies for a one-year extension.

He has played 14, but Hearts have made it clear that they will not pick the 34-year-old until he drops the clause.

Manager Jim Jefferies said: "At the moment the club is not in a position to commit to the final year.

Getting older

"I have spoken to Darren in the hope that he could speak to his agent and perhaps come to an agreement where the clause is waived, but it is really up to him.

"He trains with us and will be with the squad preparing for the Celtic match.

Hearts manager Jim Jefferies and assistant Billy Brown
Hearts manager Jim Jefferies and assistant Billy Brown
"However, it is up to him. He will admit himself he has not been at his best so far.

"We have to look at the whole picture and Darren is also getting older, but we would like nothing better than for him to stay with us. There is no bad feeling.

"Obviously Darren wants the other year, but he has not started the season brilliantly and, if he wants it, he will have to prove to us he has earned it."

The player's agent, John Viola, confirmed that Jackson is fit to play.

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30 Oct 00 |  Scotland
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27 Oct 00 |  Heart of Midlothian
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