NEIL LENNON has warned of the dangers of delaying the schedule start of the Premiership season on August 1.

Football is due to come out of cold storage after being forced into lockdown in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Celtic’s last competitive action came in the 5-0 win over St Mirren at Parkhead on March 7. They had eight league games still to play and a Scottish Cup semi-final due against Aberdeen when the curtain came down.

Lennon insists he and his players can’t wait to get back to business, but there is a threat to the long-awaited commencement of a fresh campaign with relegated pair Hearts and Partick Thistle preparing to drag the SPFL through courts in their bid for compensation.

HAT-TRICK HERO…Leigh Griffiths celebrates his third goal in the 5-0 win over St Mirren on March 7.

Tynecastle owner Ann Budge has kicked off a legal bid with the Firhill outfit to slap in an injunction to halt the kick-off.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “It would be a huge blow for everyone if the season wasn’t able to start on time for legal reasons. We’ve had a long time without football for players, managers, supporters, everyone.

“I don’t know if an interdict to halt the start of the season is feasible. But I’d just hope the SPFL, Hearts and Thistle can come to some sort of agreement, whether it’s compensation or whatever.

“What we can’t have is another delay. It would be so damaging, not just to the top clubs but to all the clubs. The bitterness doesn’t help anyone.

“We’ve moved to Phase Two and things are looking more promising from a social as well as a football point of view.

“You just hope this can be resolved and we can get back playing again.”

Lennon added: “I can’t speak on behalf of other clubs, but I understand the reaction to some degree.

“It’s not exclusive to Scotland. We’ve seen the Dutch association paying out compensation to clubs who were absolutely livid with their decisions.

“There’s been legal fights in France, Belgium, in England. We’ll have to take it a day at a time like everything and see what the outcome is going to be.

STRIKE No.28…Odsonne Edouard glides in one against St Mirren to move two adrift of his 30-goal target.

“It was never going to be easy and it was always going to be a difficult call to make. I understand the clubs involved want to take legal representation and that’s well within their right.

“For the sake of the game, you hope we can sort it out to get us moving forward rather than looking back.

“Every club has been affected, all over the world. We’ve not been able to sit down and work out the budget. We’re not immune to the financial implications of all of this either.

“We’re all on a deferral and cuts until the end of this month, then we’ll probably take a view on that.

“All clubs have taken a hit. I saw Spurs have just taken out a huge loan and we know the money going around in England.

“It’s no surprise Scottish sides feel it as well with all the uncertainty.”

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