NOW the lockdown is eased, there will be a lot more football on our television over the coming weeks. Except, there won’t be any in the Scottish league, as the bosses decided Celtic FC had the win pretty much wrapped up – again! The club is indeed an unstoppable force.
Let’s take a look at the history of this super-club and how it managed to yet again clinch the top spot this season.
A place in history
The club was constituted in 1887 – an epic 133 years ago. It began life in St Mary’s Church Hall in East Rose Street, Calton. If you want to visit the birthplace of the club you need to head to Forbes Street – as someone helpfully changed the name! The purpose of the club was to begin to alleviate the awful poverty that struck down parts of Glasgow – a notoriously brutal city to exist in at the time.
In 1889, the hints of future unstoppability were clearly in sight. The team reached the final of the Scottish Cup in their first full season. You might as well have retired all the other clubs at this point – the signs were definitely there. Indeed, by 1892 they have won their first cup and 1893 their first League Championship.
Greatness was guaranteed when Celtic FC won the League for six successive seasons from 1905 to 1910 – in 1907 adding the Scottish Cup to the mix to do the double – and demonstrate their obvious dominance. Again in 1914 – 1917 the team won the championship four times in a row. Although the next 60 or 70 years showed patchier form, the club continued to win championships and Scottish Cups with unerring regularity.
However, true greatness would not be earned until the club performed on the European stage. In 1964, Celtic reached the semi-finals of the European Cup-Winners Cup – now the Champions’ League. A massive achievement for a club from such a small country with a relatively non competitive league. It also marked a period of dominance in the game – only halted for a time by the passionate rivalry with Rangers.
The 2000s have been even kinder to the club. In 2001, Celtic won the treble and dominated the season. They were the host club of the top scorer in the UEFA Champions’ League – with Henrik Larsson scoring 53 goals that season. In 2003, they reached the UEFA Cup Final – and only lost to Porto by a goal in extra-time. In recent seasons there has been no club in Scotland that could hope to compete against the Hoops. It is clear that Neil Lennon will bring even more success to the club – and a continuation of the brutal vitality of the Celtic game.
The story of the 2019 – 2020 season
In May, the 12 clubs of the Scottish Premier Football League (SPFL) decided that the season should come to an end. It was confirmed that Celtic was once again the champion and that Hearts would be relegated. It felt unfeasible for the SPFL to be played to its conclusion. To determine the final order of the table, the average points per game achieved by the teams were used to finesse the rankings. This makes it nine years in a row for Celtic FC – so how did they manage to end a massive 13 points ahead of their nearest rivals having played one game fewer?
During the season the team won 26 out of their 30 games and had scored a massive 89 goals. This is an average of three goals every game played. The consistency of the football was astonishing – with some brilliant individuals but more importantly a classy squad performance.
The Chief Executive of Celtic, Peter Lawwell, placed a lot of credit in Neil Lennon’s lap He claimed that under his guidance the team have always played the highest quality football. The game he played is “exciting, attacking, winning football” and he was glad that the club always sought to win the Celtic way.
Why are Celtic such an unstoppable force this season and for the last nine? Is there any hope that a Scottish team can prevent a 10th consecutive title going Celtic FC’s way? According to Neil Lennon – no one has a chance. He claims their victory in the 2019 – 20 season was thoroughly deserved and that there is every hope of continuing the run. His run so far matches the streak of Jock Stein’s Celtic team from 1966 to 1974 and the Rangers’ run from 1989.
However, if he was to make it 10, it would seal this Celtic team as the best ever. It is the history of success at the club that places so much emphasis on winning the next season – and it is this passion that leads to the clubs continued success.
What will spur them on? Well, it is likely the Old Firm defeat to Rangers in the 2019 – 2020 season. They may have only lost four matches – but one of them being this crucial encounter adds fuel to the passion to succeed next year.