Date: 11th July 2010 at 4:49pm
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Matthew Etherington has finally signed a new, four year deal after several months of negotiation.

Our ‘player of the season’ has been keen to strike a new agreement even though he had two years left on his current contract, amid reports that he wanted it to include a significant up-front payment so he could pay off his gambling debts which were amassed during his time playing for West Ham.

Since signing for the Potters in January 2009, he’s being attending ‘Gamblers’ Anonymous’ meetings and his mother has taken over control of his finances as he attempts to kick the habit which is said to have left him with debts of around a million pounds.

Whatever the reason for the new deal, it’s good to know that we’ll have at least one player on the books who can give us a Plan B when Plan A fails and, who knows, a successful, injury free season may even lift him into Capello’s sights as he attempts to build a new England squad ahead of the European Championships.