As per usual in the Scottish Premier League, Celtic have run away with it. Thirteen points clear of second-placed Rangers and with the league now cancelled due to the COVID Crisis, Celtic have been announced as the champions for the ninth time in a row.
However, former Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday has questioned the decision to grant Celtic the title due to the season not having been completed.
Whilst admitting that Celtic would have been the clear favourites going into the last period of the season, he’s unsure as to how the decision to award Celtic the league title despite it being mathematically possible for Rangers to catch up.
I find myself perplexed by Halliday’s comments, because whilst I completely understand why he’s saying that, I also think that there’s no real reason to question whether or not Celtic would have won the league under normal circumstances- they would have easily coasted to a clear and easy title win.
Adding to this, Celtic have only lost twice this season in the league, yes one of those matches was against Rangers, but Steven Gerrard’s side hasn’t shown nearly enough consistency to try to wrench the Scottish Premier League from Celtic’s clasp.
However, I can see where Halliday is coming from as technically the season hasn’t actually finished. There is absolutely no way of knowing if Celtic could have capitulated in the last few matches, and/or if Rangers would win all of their matches, leapfrogging Celtic to win the league.
But I can’t help but think that there are bigger issues to be worrying about at the moment- largely the global pandemic which has led us into this situation. The Scottish League doesn’t always get thought of when people are asked about Europe’s top leagues and so it usually takes a back seat.
Mentioning other leagues, however, was the decision to cancel the League made too soon? Germany, Spain, Italy and (soon) England are all back playing their domestic cups and leagues, so there is a case that the decision made by the SPFL to cancel the season was possibly made quite hastily.
A suggestion I have seen often on social media is that teams that have won their leagues without fulfilling the normal amount of games should have an asterisk next to this year’s record, to indicate that the win wasn’t under normal circumstances and that it will always be a ‘tainted’ title as some have said.
I can see both sides of this argument. Firstly, I can see why people would want it to happen- the games haven’t been played and as long as games are left to play, anything can happen.
However, the other side of that argument would be that considering the majority of matches have been played and (in some cases) there is a clear points difference that separates the top two sides from each other and so it can be said that there is already a clear winner to the league.
My opinion is that as the Scottish League has been cancelled, then Celtic should be awarded the title with no questions asked. They are far enough clear, and their form going into the last games would have been more than enough to secure a clear and ‘legitimate’ league win.
Because of this, no asterisk is needed next to the 2019/2020 season in the record book. Rangers’ lack of consistency and Celtic’s sheer rampancy would have easily guided them to yet another successive title win before the inevitable vultures come in the summer to pick up Celtic’s stars, namely Odsonne Edouard who, being league top scorer and player of the year, was integral this year’s title charge.
Long story short- Celtic would have won this year's iteration of the Scottish Premier League had it not been for the pandemic. They are in top spot for a reason, and that’s why there should be no difference between this year and any other year all things considered.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk