Their Null and Void Miracle, Musical Chairs – Sink Green twice, Still Needing Snookers

It appears Operation Stop Celtic may have been dealt a fatal blow.

Undoubtedly at the behest of their Ibrox paymasters, there has been a campaign ably assisted by the usual suspects in the mainstream media, to force the apocalyptic notion of null and void upon Scottish football as the best option to end the football season. It’s a dangerous narrative to say the least.

Thankfully there appears to be some common sense emanating from UEFA’s corridors of power and Messer’s Ferguson, Malcolm, Hutton and Rae may be somewhat disappointed.

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)

Not that they should be. In the bigger picture null and void would see the end of the latest incarnation of a football club at Ibrox, not to mention see many historical Scottish clubs go to the wall. Null and void prize money, null and void Television rights, even the threat of clawing back on payments already made and spent by Scottish clubs is a frightening prospect and one UEFA seem keen on avoiding.

Null and void means it never happened, go back to the start and all moneys spent are returnable, season tickets and all. The Rangers though seem to have that one covered at least in their terms and conditions which of course would mean them shafting their supporters just like their last club did with their Club Deck seat for life investment (with the old holding company, lol).

The ‘Rangers’ and their blowhards probably already know all that though, all this posturing and playing to the gallery is for one reason, to pacify their support, who can’t see the wood from the trees as they believe their club is financially solvent, when the evidence points to the contrary.

One of their players in in the papers today claiming that the league is not over – good, let’s play the games – but the fact remains that the Rangers are 13 points behind with an inferior goal difference of 25 and need to win both Glasgow Derbies and even then they need favours from elsewhere. Steve Davies would understand the situation they need a miracle, they need snookers.

Their defender Katic has been speaking to Daily Record. “The end of last year was really top notch for us. We were two points behind Celtic with a game in hand. We won at Celtic Park and everything was great.

“But after that we got ourselves into a crisis and we have been tormented by it. Before then, when we played at home we were scoring five or six goals. After that, we started scoring fewer goals and we made mistakes in our away games – losing to Hearts and Kilmarnock 2-1 despite leading in both of them.

“Celtic, on the other hand, were really ruthless since the winter break. They played superbly and so they got away from us. We were in a good situation and so it’s shame we lost it.

“But once the league restarts, we don’t know what the other teams will be like, but we believe because we have a game in hand and have still to play Celtic twice that it is not over yet. Yes, 13 points sounds a lot, but I think we can still get into it,” he fantasied.

And it’s worth noting that the Rangers have never won two consecutive Glasgow Derbies in their history, surprising really given on Friday night their new interim Chairman claimed that they were ‘the most successful club in the world’ – if their supporters had any sense they’d understand that this is code for ‘oh no we’re in the Craigy Whyte again’.

So it’s good news then to hear – as reported on La Repubblica – that UEFA have a three pronged approach to concluding the season on the pitch. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has outlined those three preferred options.

“There is a plan A, B and C. The three options are to start again in mid-May, in June or at the end of June.

“There is also the possibility of starting again at the beginning of the next [season], starting the following one later. We will see the best solution for leagues and clubs.”

The final option appears to be a closed door conclusion to the season.

“It’s hard for me to imagine all the matches behind closed doors, but we still don’t know whether we’ll resume, with or without spectators,” he said.

“If there was no alternative, it would be better to finish the championships.”

It is welcome news that UEFA’s priority is to get the season finished one way or the other, the consideration of delaying the start of the following season to accommodate this one is music to football fans ears. To get the job done on the field of play would mean supporters and players get to win Nine-in-a-Row and celebrate it properly.

I’m sure given the current circumstances even the option of a closed door conclusion is certainly preferable to a season being decided in the offices of Europe’s respective governing bodies.

There is of course a word of warning from Ceferin as he points out:

“If we don’t succeed in restarting, the season will probably be lost.”

If that’s to be the case then the SPFL rules already cover that outcome. Celtic will be Champions. As Celtic are already Provisional Scottish Champions with a 13 point advantage and an insurmountable goal difference the equivalent to an extra point, the title already belongs at Celtic Park. It would be far from an ideal ending for anyone but in terms of sporting integrity it is the only option.

Thankfully it appears UEFA’s three options under consideration mean the preference is to conclude matters on the field of play, even if that entails navigating the obstacles of loan deals and contracts expiring.

At least someone has a common sense approach to all of this, unlike those crying null and void who all appear to have links to one club only.

Footballing Armageddon to them is far more preferable than Celtic winning Nine-in-a -Row. Go figure.

Niall J

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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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