CELTIC’S scheduled start to going for their tenth successive title is under threat.

The Premiership season is due to kick off on Saturday August 1, but sports lawyer David Winnie has warned legal action against the SPFL could jeopardise the Hoops’ plans to get off to a flying start to the 2020/21 season.

Hearts and Partick Thistle have released a joint statement to announce they have lodged court papers to challenge their relegations.

The Edinburgh outfit and the Maryhill side were relegated from the top flight and second tier respectively when the leagues were brought to a premature conclusion last month following the coronavirus pandemic.

The demoted teams have submitted a petition with Scotland’s highest civil court after joining forces to fight their fate when only 16 of 42 clubs backed the latest – and final – league reconstruction attempt.

Former Aberdeen, Hearts and St Mirren defender Winnie, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “Unless they have tried to fast-track these proceedings, there’s no way it could be started and finished in seven or eight weeks.

“Would Hearts ask for effectively an interdict to stop the league from starting? I don’t know. It’s a possible option for them.

“I think, in any event, there will be issues logistically for the league.”

In a joint statement, the Tynecastke and Firhill sides insist they had no wish to disrupt the game or interfere with the decision to declare clubs champions or nominate European qualifiers.

However, they will seek compensation if they are not restored to the divisions they were in when the outbreak suspended play in mid-March and ultimately led to the curtailment of the campaign.

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