Celtic Football Club has been awarded the Scottish Premiership title after a decision was taken by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) to cut short the football season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That will also see Hearts relegated to the second division of Scottish football.
Celtic was 13 points clear of arch-rivals Rangers when the league was suspended owing to the pandemic situation and since then no matches have been played. The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) on Monday decided to hand over the championship to Celtic, marking their ninth consecutive league win.
Edinburgh-based club Heart of Midlothian will be relegated to the second division of the Scottish football league. Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) chairman Murdoch Maclennan admitted that they would have rather seen the league season played out on the field but the situation was too grave for football in Scotland to continue.
“Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to officially congratulate Celtic on their achievement of winning the Ladbrokes Premiership this season, and also to sincerely commiserate with Hearts on their relegation. We would all have rather seen the league season played out on pitches, in stadiums and in front of supporters. This is not the way anybody involved with Scottish football would have wanted to conclude the league season but, given the grave and unprecedented circumstances that we are facing, the Board has agreed that it is the only practical way forward,” said MacLennan, reported Goal.
The decision will also allow the league to pay £7 million in fees to help clubs across the Premiership stay afloat in what have been financially troubled times. The win does mark Celtic’s 51st domestic league title win, just three behind all-time record-holders Rangers FC. MacLennan further added that the 2020-21 League season will start on August 1, later this year.
"The 2020/21 League Season in all four of our Divisions is due to commence on 1 August, which coincides with the start of our new and exclusive five-year broadcasting deal with Sky Sports. Nobody should be under any illusion as to how complicated and difficult a challenge it will be to return Scottish football to normality. We will be liaising with Government on the best way forward and working to ensure that all of our 42 clubs are playing football again as soon as humanly possible," he added.