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CELTIC’S TITLE: PAISLEY BOSS CALLS ON ‘COMMON SENSE’ DECISION

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JIM GOODWIN insists Celtic will be worthy champions when the Premiership season is inevitably called off by the SPFL.

Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers have already been awarded the titles to their respective divisions when the lower league end prematurely last month.

Now the Hoops are on the brink of collecting their ninth successive crown after leading the league by 13 points with only eight games to be played before the game went into cold storage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin reckons common sense dictates Parkhead has got to be the destination for this season’s top prize.

The Paisley gaffer also defended the SPFL as he confirmed his club voted against Rangers’ probe resolution.

Goodwin, speaking to talkSPORT, said: “If you were to go on current form and the way the two teams at the top were playing, I don’t think anyone could deny Celtic were in a far better place than Rangers.

“They have dropped 11 points more than Celtic since the turn of the year.

“Celtic are deservedly out in front. They have been the better team this season.

“Flip it and look at the teams down near the bottom, Hearts have only one four league games all season.

“We have eight games left, they would probably have had to win four, possibly five. Of course, it could have happened. I don’t have a crystal ball.

“But it’s highly unlikely Rangers were going to catch Celtic and Hearts were going to need a helluva turnaround in their form to catch the teams above them.

“People will probably think, ‘Well that’s easy for him to say’ as we are ninth, safe and none of it really involves us.

“But I just have to take a common sense approach to it.

“Would I be fighting it if I were Hearts? Of course, we would probably go down the same channels as Hearts in terms of ‘Can we find a fair resolution to it?’

“But, again, I don’t think they are going to come to any kind of conclusion that is going to please everyone.

“Look at Dundee United in the Championship. They have spent vast amounts of money to get out of the league. They have won it by a country mile, they are 14 points clear of the team in second.

“If you turn around to Dundee United and say: ‘You aren’t getting promoted?’ Is that fair? I don’t think it is, either.

“There are always going to be people upset. We are just going to have come to some sort of agreement and hopefully move on from it.”

Goodwin added: “We would all love to get back playing and we would all love to finish the season in the correct manner.

“But I just don’t think that is possible. I look at what other countries are doing and I look forward to watching the Bundesliga at the weekend.

“I look forward to seeing what happens in England, too. But, quite simply, we don’t have the resources available to us to purchase these testing kits.

“There is talk of each one costing £150 and each player needing a couple tests prior to each game.

“The resources in Scotland are nowhere in comparison to what English Premier League clubs have. That’s why I think the decision to call the lower leagues in England will be made.

“Quite simply, League One and League Two clubs, as well as Championship clubs, are really struggling financially – as are a number of clubs in Scotland.

“It’s okay for managers to come out and say: ‘Let’s finish the season’.

“I have 11 players out of contract on June 9. How would we go about extending those? Is it month by month, or do you give them a six-month deal and see what happens?

“Financially, clubs wouldn’t be able to cope in Scotland – it’s as simple as that.

“The sooner we have clarity, come to a decision, move forward and plan for the future, the better for everyone.

“I can only give my opinion and I must stress it is my opinion, not the club’s. In my opinion, I expect the league to be called as it is.

“Is it fair for teams like Hearts? Of course, it’s not. Rangers are 13 points behind Celtic, but still believe they have a chance of catching them and stop the nine in a row.

“But from my own point of view, common sense tells me our league isn’t going to be able to start back up.”I would expect a decision to be made by the end of the month and the league to be concluded.”

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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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