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‘NULL AND VOID’ CANNOT BE RULED OUT, ADMITS HAMPDEN CHIEF

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NEIL DONCASTER is refusing to rule out declaring the season “null and void”.

The SPFL chief executive warns of calling a halt to the action if coronavirus restrictions continue to escalate.

Doncaster made the dramatic admission in the fall-out of Celtic’s controversial trip to Dubai last week that brought an apology from Hoops supremo Peter Lawwell, as CQN reported.

The ramifications of the five-day warm-weather training in the United Arab Emirates went into overdrive when Christopher Jullien was tested positive for coronavirus upon the squad’s return a week ago and 13 players plus Neil Lennon and John Kennedy were ordered to self-isolate for 10 days.

First-team coach Gavin Strachan took charge of the team for Monday’s 1-1 draw with Hibs and he will be in the dug-out again tomorrow afternoon when another make shift side will face Livingston.

Last season, the season was called early with the Parkhead men 13 points ahead with only eight games to play. Neil Lennon’s men were crowned champions for the ninth successive year as they claimed their 51st crown in their history.

Promotion and relegation issues wer also determined with Hearts dropping out of the top-flight amid acrimony and threats of legal action. Partick Thistle were also involved in the furore as they lost their Championship status.

Doncaster dismissed calls to scratch last term from the record books without awarding titles as “never a realistic possibility”.

The Hoops are 21 points adrift of Steven Gerrard’s side, but still have three games – and a possible nine points in hand – with two derbies still to be played in the second half of the campaign. The team’s domestic domination is on the brink, but Doncaster has refused to rule out the null and void option.

The Hampden football ruler, in a report in the Daily Record, said: “No-one has a crystal ball, but certainly if we carry on as we are then we’ve got a very good chance of completing the Premiership and Championship seasons.

“If the games can’t be completed and we end up where we were in March 2020, then clearly it’s going to be a very difficult situation.

“You’ve got to bear in mind over 75 per cent of games had been played in all four divisions of the SPFL when the season was curtailed.

“We certainly hope we will complete 100 per cent of the fixtures in all four divisions this season. It will be for the members to determine what happens in the event they are not.

“In the event the games couldn’t be played, then once again the members might have a decision to make.

“I’ve never ruled out anything. It’s up to the members to rule things in or out.

“We are a members organisation and the members want to retain the power to decide whether the season should be curtailed or not rather than give it to the board.

“The consequences of a void season are much more dramatic, partly because of the commercial contracts which underpin the game, but, at the moment, there is no reason to believe the Premiership and Championship won’t be completed.”

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