By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Uth signs new contract valid for second division

Veteran attacker Mark Uth has committed himself to his home-town club of 1. FC Köln even in the event that die Geißböcke are relegated to the 2. Bundesliga ahead of next season. 

Mark Uth's current working papers rendered it possible for him to depart in the event that 1. FC Köln are relegated from the German top division. The 32-year-old used the occasion of Köln's potential confirmed relegation to sign a new contract on Friday. Uth committed himself to his hometown club with what he called a "strong signal" ahead of the 2023/24 Bundesliga's season finale. 

"No matter what happens: I'm staying," the 32-year-old said in a video message posted on Kölner social media feeds, "All of usl, the whole city, believe we can remain in the league. I'm absolutely confident."

Persisten public bone problems have limited Uth to just ten league and two cup appearances this year. The Köln native made just four appearances across all competitions last season. Uth's public statement accompanying the signing sought to emphasize that he felt the need to commit to the club even if his injury problems left him unable to contribute as much on the pitch. 

Uth's new deal, like the previous one, only runs through the end of next season. After stints in Holland, along with time spent playing for Hoffenheim and Schalke professionally, Uth returned to his youth academy club in 2021. Uth helped Köln qualify for the 2022/23 Europa Conference League.

"It was important for me to continue to take on responsibility at the club close to my heart and to move forward in sporting terms after not being able to contribute as much as I had imagined in the last two years," Uth's club statement read, "There's nothing else left for me. I want to end my career here at FC." 

"His recent brief appearances proved that Mark is a difference maker for us," Köln personnel boss Christian Keller added in a statement, "Mark also shapes our team with his personality and leads the way. His decision to remain loyal to FC regardless of the outcome of the season is thus a strong signal at the right time."

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