West Bromwich Albion striker John Hartson has been released by the club leaving his future career in the game in jeopardy.

The 32-year-old who joined Albion from Celtic in a two-year deal in June 2006 has failed to figure in the first team all season and is now understood to be surplus to manager Tony Mowbray's long term plans.

Hartson's career with the Baggies had all begun so well back in the summer of 2006 when he scored twice in his debut on the opening game of the season against Hull City.

But the arrival of another veteran striker Kevin Phillips was ultimately to lead to Hartson spending a long time on the sidelines and he was constantly caught up in a battle to try and maintain his fitness and keep down his weight.

Hartson then fell further down the picking order when former Albion striker Diomansy Kamara returned to fitness ahead of Albion's countdown to the play-offs last season which ultimately ended in defeat to Derby County at the new look Wembley Stadium.

Since then Mowbray has added further strike power to the club this season with the arrival of Scottish International striker Craig Beattie and Czech centre-forward Roman Bednar who is currently at Albion on a season long loan from Scottish side Hearts with the view to a permanent deal.

Hartson, who was capped 49 times for Wales and scored 14 goals, was thrown a life-line earlier this season when he was offered a month's loan deal with fellow Championship side Norwich City ship but he was back at The Hawthorns within three weeks after the Canaries' then boss Nigel Worthington announced things had not worked out.

Hartson, who was born in Swansea, scored a total of six goals in 24 appearances at West Brom including eight as a substitute. n Hopes that Albion's attractive FA Cup fifth round match against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena might be selected for live television broadcast have been dashed.

The BBC will screen Arsenal's visit to Manchester United on Saturday, February 16 with the match shown live on BBC1 at 5.15pm.

The same channel show Bristol Rovers versus Southampton at 12.30pm earlier that day.

The following day fans can see Middlesbrough's trip to Bramall Lane at 2pm, again on BBC1, while Sky Sports host Preston against Portsmouth at 4pm.