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EX-SPFL GAFFER RECKONS GERS HAVE ‘ACCEPTED’ IT’S CELTIC’S TITLE

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FORMER SPFL chief executive Roger Mitchell insists Celtic should be crowned champions – and Rangers have accepted the situation.

Europe’s soccer rulers, UEFA, have stated they want all domestic competitions completed by the end of June following the coronavirus pandemic forced the game in worldwide lockdown.

However, Mitchell reckons that is “total fantasy” and believes it is inevitable that leagues everywhere will be wrapped up early with the Hoops being awarded their ninth successive title.

Neil Lennon’s side were 13 points ahead with eight games to play when the campaign came to an emergency halt. They also had an overwhelming goal difference of plus-25 which could have counted as an extra point if the title race went to goal difference.

Asked what should happen if the league suspension remains long-term, Mitchell, speaking to The Scotsman, answered: “That’s a very big question and just about every day you asked it I would have a different answer.

“So, here’s where I think we are today: UEFA want the domestic leagues restarted by the end of April, but I know a lot of football people around Europe and that’s total fantasy.

“The thing is, the leagues know this, so we are in this phase where everyone is pretending there will be a finish.

“What my friends are saying to me is that at some point UEFA or the national governments will instruct the football bodies to call an end to 2019/20.

“This will be done. The season will not be null and void. Promotion and relegation will be decided.

“There’s a formula for ascertaining likely points totals, but I don’t think in Scotland this will change anything: Celtic will be champions and Hearts will be down.”

The Edinburgh club’s owner Ann Budge has already vowed to fight any decision that would see the Tynecastle side relegated while they trail Hamilton Accies by four points.

Mitchell added: “I think Hearts have accepted the situation, which is why they’re making these cutbacks.

“And I think Rangers have accepted it, too, although they won’t actually say this.

“My understanding is that Scottish football has pulled together and realised this is a black swan moment, a total crisis and that it’s time decisions were made with clear heads and not passionate hearts.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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