FORMER Celtic defender Alan Stubbs has warned Rangers that continuing conflict with the SPFL could open the door to the Ibrox club being STRIPPED of titles won during the EBT era.

The Govan outfit have opposed the Hampden chiefs’ move to end the season early and called for an EGM among all 42 member clubs for a week on Tuesday to continue their probe into last month’s ballot.

The soccer bosses decided to call a halt to the three divisions outwith the Premiership and handed the championships to Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers while relegating Partick Thistle and Stranraer.

The Hoops are on the brink of being awarded their ninth successive crown after sitting on top of the league with a 13-point advantage and eight games to go before football went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March.

However, Gers insist the title can only be won on the pitch and that finishing the season with a significant amount of games still to play impacts upon the integrity of the game.

The club’s managing director Stewart Robertson also stated they are opposed to playing matches behind closed doors.

Ex-goalscoring hero and manager Ally McCoist claimed there would forever be an asterisk against Celtic’s name if the SPFL handed them the title.

One-time Hibs boss Stubbs, though, warned his old rivals their actions could see titles they won during the EBT years being brought into question.

He told the Sunday Mail: “Rangers should be very careful because if they start saying this campaign should be null and void then what about all the leagues they won when they were later found in court to be bending the rules regarding their tax avoidance?

“The difference here is that Celtic have done nothing wrong while Rangers did do something wrong and still kept those titles.”

In 2017, five Supreme Court judges unanimously agreed that the EBT system used by then owner Sir David Murray between 2001 to 2010 to pay something in the region of  £47million to more than 80 players, managers and club officials broke tax rules.

Stubbs continued: “If the season had continued, I could only see the gap between the two clubs becoming even wider.

“For me, it’s not even up for discussion because Celtic would have finished even further ahead.

“Rangers had been more or less admitting that their season was over before the lockdown and they were only ever playing for second place this year.

“Last December when Rangers bossed Celtic at Parkhead, we thought we had a genuine title race, but then the wheels fell off for them. They have been really poor since the winter break.

“Sometimes you look outside for excuses, but it’s better to look at home for them. They only have themselves to blame for that.

“Celtic deserve to be champions – it’s the other end of the table where the problem is.”

Stubbs also turned his attention to remarks from Gers coach Michael Beale who claimed that December’s Betfred League Cup Final had been the most one-sided confrontation ever, despite the Hoops winning 1-0 with a goal from Christopher Jullien.

The Englishman added: “The record books say that Celtic won and that’s the most important thing.

“Celtic know how to win when it matters. Rangers have lost two Cup Finals and five semi-finals since winning promotion back to the Premiership in 2016.

“Celtic have got the advantage in the really big games because Rangers have come up short whenever they’ve been under pressure.

“Their players have admitted that they can’t handle pressure and, when you’re playing for big clubs and that’s the case, you’re no good to anybody.”


About Author


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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