Celtic edge closer to Nine-in-a-Row Decision, Null and Void completely ruled out

YESTERDAY we took a break from going on and on about the latest the Rangers or ex-Rangers player or coach to declare that the season must be declared null and void, or played to a finish or ended at the half way mark – the most stupid of the lot as it doesn’t even work in their favour.

Leagues around Europe want a decision from UEFA and they want that to happen soon. Kicking the can down the road, in the same way the Olympic Games organisers did, is less credible by the day as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world and the numbers of deaths increases ever day.

There is simply NO CHANCE of the leagues resuming in June and being concluded by 30 June. There was a call from French Football yesterday for UEFA to extend this to 15 July but this is a lone voice. The momentum is now firmly towards forcing UEFA to make a decision to end the leagues as soon as possible.

The likelihood of the Scottish Professional Football League calling time on its 2019-20 season because of the coronavirus pandemic is intensifying amid growing pessimism over the prospect of fixtures being resumed before Uefa’s 30 June deadline. The SPFL board are closely monitoring events elsewhere in European football, especially in England where their counterparts at the fifth-tier National League have now indicated their wish for the campaign to be declared at an end as soon as possible.

Smaller leagues are already taking matters into their own hands. Last Saturday the Highland League formally concluded their season and declared leaders Brora Rangers as champions with eight games still to be played.

The ramifications of the SPFL following suit would be widespread throughout its four divisions in terms of titles, promotions and relegation issues controversially being determined on the basis of league positions when football was first suspended due to Covid-19 on 13 March.

Celtic with a commanding 13 points ahead of the Rangers at the top of the Premiership, and a vastly superior goal difference of 25 more than the runners-up elect, would be awarded the title as worthy Scottish Champions. Just like Liverpool in the English Premier League the gap is such that there is little argument about that, other than the stuff of bitter, bad losers associated with the Ibrox clubs have been lining up to argue.

They want the Scottish football authorities to declare the Scottish Premiership Null and Void and it’s all about stopping Nine-in-a-Row. But it’s not quite as simple as that this time around. Remember when the succeeded in getting all 52 titles won by the old Rangers plus the two that the old Rangers shared, transferred over to the new club that Charles Green founded in 2012?

The Rangers Founding Father Charles Green

Sadly for them the coronavirus pandemic prevents the old funny handshake trick working again. No-one is shaking anyone’s hands anymore. This time UEFA will decide and all leagues will have to live with the outcome.

And every team in second place in leagues across Europe can reflect on the games that they played and the points that they dropped that allowed another club to be ahead of them. In Spain it’s tough on Real Madrid – just two points behind Barcelona – but the same principle will apply. And if ‘little’ Real Madrid have to accept it so do the ‘Most Successful Club in the World’ – their wait for their first major honour ever will continue.

And a word on the Null and Void option that works to stop Nine-in-a-Row this season and in their eyes next. You see if the league is Null and Void this time and Celtic win it next year, they’ll say that it’s just one title not nine as the 2019/20 season wasn’t won by anyone, it was Null and Void. Creative thinking Zombie style.

The league position is clear. Null and Void means that prize money isn’t happening, broadcasting revenues would be subject to repayment claims and supporters would have a valid claim on ticket money including season ticket fees paid, being refunded by the clubs. The game would be finished.

Instead the SPFL bosses are seeking to ensure prize money and broadcasting rights income can be distributed to all 42 clubs on schedule over the next two months.

And in view of the legal advice they are firmly opposed to declaring the season Null and Void which would have a similar effect on their commercial contracts, as outlined above. Just how stupid are these ex-Rangers ‘legends’?

And of course Boris – who many of the Rangers fans voted for to ‘Save the Union’ may end up bouncing up to do one of his daily updates and end it all for them. The Coronavirus Bill yesterday passed through the House of Lords unamended and is set to become once they get the go-ahead from Lizzie, who in happier times had a lovely day out taking the tour at Paradise. You can take ours HERE, it’s brilliant!

The Coronavirus Act provides for emergency powers which include banning large public gatherings or events and regardless of what UEFA have advised this legislation will mean that Boris will have the ultimate say on whether games are going to be played by UEFA’s deadline of 30 June to end the season.

The SPFL bosses are believed to be of the view they would be left with no option but to end the season should the UEFA deadline come into conflict with the views of the Government.

And in England the lower leagues are starting to think that the Highland League in Scotland has made the correct call. Remember that the Lowland league in Scotland – riddled as it is with ex-Rangers players – reckons then getting awarded the title would be ‘Tainted’ with screams of “ReeeeeemeeeeeeBeeeer Heeeeeeeelicpteeeeeeer Sundaaaaaaay!!!!!”

Celtic’s Henrik Larsson goes past Rangers’ Robert Malcolm on his way to scoring the second goal of the game (Photo by John Walton/EMPICS via Getty Images)

The National League in England wants a decision made to end the season taken. This became clear in a conference call of its board members after which chief executive Michael Tattersall said: “The broad consensus was that our clubs wish for a decision to be made to close the season as soon as possible.

“The FA have been asked to assist us with making the decisions to officially postpone all remaining National League fixtures and to end the season as soon as possible for the purposes of player contracts.

“The National League is also working with the FA to define all reasonable and practical options for the determination of the 2019-20 season, and to provide guidance to clubs on dealing with player contracts, player registrations and the application of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.”

Barrow, currently four points clear at the top of the National League, are on course to return to the English Football League for the first time since 1972. Their manager, Ian Evatt, insists they should be declared Champions even if the remaining seven games are not played.

“If you were to play a 90-minute football match and something was to happen in the last 15 minutes of a game, the result would stand if it was abandoned. So why is it not the same for a full season?” he agreed. Yet Notts County disagree as they are still in with a chance of catching Barrow had the games been played. There were however no calls to Null and Void the National League. Funny that.

Take The Celtic Star’s Photo Tour of Celtic Park and enjoy our stunning photos from inside Paradise RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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