CHRIS SUTTON insists Celtic players will be “utterly devastated” if – as likely- they will not get the opportunity to clinch the title on the football pitch.

The champions were zeroing in on a record-equalling ninth successive crown – first achieved by Jock Stein’s great side from 1966 to 1974 – when the game went into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Neil Lennon’s men were 13 points in front with only eight games to play when football went into cold storage in the middle of last month.

The SPFL are now deliberating on the next steps of the top-flight league after calling time on the three other divisions last week following the vote of their resolution by the 42 member clubs.

Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers have been awarded the title for their respective divisions, but the Parkhead side still await their fate which should be sealed this month with UEFA holding a crunch meeting on Tuesday.

EIGHTSOME REEL…Scott Brown leads last season’s title celebrations.

Former Parkhead striker Sutton, now a top media pundit, told the Daily Record: “Neil Lennon’s squad will be utterly devastated they didn’t get the chance to finish off their excellent work.

“They had taken on the Rangers challenge from the turn of the year and had dismissed it.

“Lennon’s team will now have to listen to silly critics say they didn’t really win the title properly when, if the games hadn’t stopped, they were going to absolutely canter it.

“Celtic’s players have been denied a chance to seal the deal in style and have also lost their chance to secure a quadruple treble.

“They might win it later in the year, but they are still the ones with far more to miss out on than anyone at Rangers.

“If I was (Steven) Gerrard I would be quite happy at it ending now. He knew it was over, anyway.

“And if the final nine games of their season had gone the same way as the other 10 during 2020 for him he could have been in serious trouble saving his credibility. Finishing this season early might just do Gerrard a big favour.”

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