FORMER Celtic boss John Barnes insists the inevitable award of the ninth successive title to his the Hoops will NOT be tainted.
The Liverpool legend, who spent only seven months in the Parkhead hot seat in season 1999/2000, believes the gloss will remain on the honour.
Barnes reckons Neil Lennon’s side, leading the Premiership by 13 points with only eight games to go, deserve to be presented with the 51st flag in the club’s glorious history.
Envious onlookers and perennial also-rans may claim title No.9 in the spectacular sequence should carry an asterisk.
However, Barnes, speaking to BonusCodeBets.co.uk, snapped back: “I wouldn’t say the title will be tainted, because this is what it is.
“Celtic will get the title whatever the situation is. I don’t think anything about it is tainted – they will deservedly have won the league because that’s what’s decided.
“Of course, Rangers fans will say that it is. If Liverpool win under the same circumstances maybe Manchester United fans will say that.
“But what does that mean? Does that mean it didn’t happen? Of course, it happened.
“But I do believe the season can be finished. There’s not many games to go. Once we’re able to play again, you can finish the season then start next season.
“I also think there has to be promotion and relegation, just like if you do the same thing in England and Liverpool get the title, there has to be promotion and relegation.
“Either you honour the league as it is, stopping so whoever is first wins the league and the bottom three go down and the top three in the next division come up. Or, you need to finish the season.”
Celtic, of course, want to win the crown by their achievements on the pitch, but they will have no say in the matter if the campaign is prematurely halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hoops were on course for a phenomenal quadruple treble and were due to play Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-final before the game went into shutdown in mid-March.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT…
CQN would like to thank our readers for their patience in the interruption to the launch of Alex Gordon’s latest Celtic book, ‘Fifty Flags’, which was due to be published in March.
Unfortunately, production of the tome, which thoroughly examines the glorious half-century of seasons in which the Parkhead men were crowned Scotland champions, came to an unfortunate halt due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
The support for ‘Fifty Flags’ has been overwhelming and author Alex said: “The response to the book has been utterly astonishing and I can only say how totally grateful I am to CQN readers for their backing. I can only hope it will be worth the wait.
“We are depending on the printers letting us know when the run will commence and we are in their hands at the moment. It will be published this year and CQN will keep the readers up to date. Thanks for your patience, folks. It’s much appreciated.
“Main thing, though, in these testing times is to take care and stay safe. See you all when we get the green light.”