APRIL 23 – a week today – will be crucial in the SPFL’s decision to award Celtic a well-merited ninth successive title.
European football’s governing body are due to meet to discuss possible solutions to the coronavirus pandemic that has forced the game into a worldwide lockdown.
Following Dundee’s decision last night – as reported in CQN – to vote yes on the SPFL’s resolution to bring an immediate halt to the Championship, League One and League Two, the Scottish soccer supremos are on the verge of handing the Premiership crown to Neil Lennon’s men.
Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers will now be confirmed as champions of their respective decisions.
UEFA and, indeed, Celtic want to give the season every chance to be played out on the pitch, but there’s a growing consensus that simply may not be possible.
The UK lockdown will be extended by a further 21 days by the UK government at some stage today while Scottish clubs have been advised current restrictions will be in place until at least June 10, but, most likely, longer.
Mass gatherings are expected to among the last strands of normality to return and the prospect of closed door football has hardly been discussed in Scotland. Individual insurance for players could prove to be an insurmountable problem in this situation.
What happens next will be influenced significantly by the UEFA meeting next week.
European football bosses will connect via video-link and likely provide guidance on where member associations can go from here, according to a report in the Daily Record.
If they give league bodies the go-ahead to pull the plug, expect the Premiership to be declared over shortly afterwards.
It’s not ideal, of course, but surely there can be no argument the championship will be awarded to the best team in the country.
Celtic were 13 points ahead with only eight games to play when the game came to an emergency halt in the middle of last month.
The Hoops were a mere five victories away from the 51st flag in their history, assuming their nearest challengers won all their games.
Basically, Lennon’s side would have had to endure a collapse of seismic proportions to prevent them winning the league after only two losses in the previous 30 encounters.
At some stage this month, the glittering championship trophy will return to the east end of Glasgow.
Where it belongs.