THE SPFL board have a meeting scheduled for Monday – but it is highly unlikely they will make the decision to award Celtic their ninth successive title.

UEFA have handed the Hampden bosses the authority to declare the Hoops champions, as CQN reported yesterday.

However, chief executive Neil Doncaster and chairman Murdoch MacLennan have given assurances further soundings will be taken from clubs before any decision is made.

A statement released by the SPFL and SFA Joint Response Group read: “The coronavirus outbreak is affecting leagues across Europe in many different ways.

“Depending, among other things, on their financial position, their broadcasting deals and the percentage of their clubs’ income derived from gate receipts.

“In addition, the approach from individual governments varies according to the severity and timing of the lockdown and their success in dealing with the outbreak.

“As a result, there can be no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the challenges facing the 55 countries under the UEFA banner.

“UEFA’s announcement acknowledges different leagues will have to carefully consider their own unique circumstances, before deciding how best to progress.”

The Parkhead side have insisted they would prefer to clinch the 51st crown in their history on the pitch, but accept the flag could be delivered if the Premiership is called to a halt.

Neil Lennon’s men were 13 points clear with only eight games to play when football went into lockdown. They also possessed a plus 25 goal difference superiority on their nearest challengers. Only a collapse of seismic proportions would have prevented them from adding a ninth title on the trot.

At the other end of the table, Hearts are still fighting to avoid automatic relegation, although their focus is now on league reconstruction saving them from the drop. They were four points adrift of Hamilton Accies when the game was interrupted in the middle of last month.

After yesterday’s UEFA executive committee meeting, the SPFL have the mandate to make a decision which would see prize money finally paid out to cash-strapped clubs.

The likelihood is it won’t happen for at least another week, but it appears inevitable their next move will be rubber-stamped.

Celtic, after only two defeats from 30 top-flight outings, WILL then be officially crowned the best team in the country.

All good things are worth waiting for.

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