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CELTIC FACE THREE-WEEK TITLE DELAY

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CELTIC’S inevitable ninth successive title award could be delayed 28 days – because of Championship outfit Dundee.

The dithering Dens Park outfit have been left with the casting vote over the resolution to terminate immediately the season for the three divisions outwith the Premiership.

That proposal will pave the way for the top flight to be concluded at some stage afterwards – with the Hoops rightfully being given the crown and rock-bottom Hearts toppling into the second tier.

The SPFL released details of clubs which had voted by their requested time of 5 o’clock last night, as CQN reported.

It detailed that 39 of the 42 senior clubs had voted and showed the proposal to end the season for the three lower divisions had received the necessary 75 per cent majority from the Premiership clubs – only the double-act of the Tynecastle club and the Ibrox outfit of the 12 clubs rejecting the resolution – and the League One and League Two clubs, with 16 voting in favour, three against and one vote not received.

However, in the Championship, no outcome could be determined as the 75 per cent threshold was not reached. There was a seven-two split in favour, Partick Thistle and Inverness Caley Thistle lodging objections, while the SPFL apparently raised a question over the competence of the Tayside club’s vote.

Dundee, however, insisted that they had lodged their rejection of the resolution as instructed by the SPFL administrative team in charge of collating the email responses.

Now, though, according to media reports, it is believed they could take time to consider their position.

The situation reached farcical levels as the original SPFL statement said one Premiership club had still to vote. It later transpired that Hearts were the club in question, with a “technical glitch” attributed for the failure of the vote to be counted initially, despite it having been sent at lunchtime yesterday.

The Companies Act 2006 means that the 42 SPFL members have TWENTY-EIGHT days to adopt or reject a written resolution. Effectively, then, the Dens Park side could have three weeks to decide whether to stand by their original vote – or switch to allow the resolution to pass.

If it is successful, it will mean final season placings will be determined by points per game in league matches played to date by each club. This would mean prize money being distributed in the short-term and result in the promotion of Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers, and the relegation of Partick Thistle and Stranraer.

The resolution also recommends that matches in the Premiership remain postponed for the time being, to give the best possible opportunity for the remaining 2019/20 fixtures to be played.

However, if the SPFL Board determines that the remaining top-flight fixtures cannot be played due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the top tier would also be terminated, with final season placings determined on the same basis.

Celtic, 13 points ahead at the top of the league with only eight games to play and a superior goal difference of plus 25 will be handed their 51st flag in their history.

Neil Lennon’s men lost a mere two matches out of their 30 played – against Livingston in October and Steven Gerrard’s side in December – as they zeroed in on another crown.

 
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