Football

Confirmed: Celtic Crowned Scottish Premiership Champions

Confirmed: Celtic Crowned Scottish Premiership Champions

Celtic have been officially declared Scottish Premiership champions for 2019/20 after clubs voted unanimously that the season could not be finished due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Celtic, now champions for the ninth consecutive season, were 13 points ahead of Rangers with eight games to play. The finals placing were determined on a points per game basis.

Today's announcement also sees Hearts relegated from Scottish football's top flight.

"We would all have rather seen the league season played out on pitches, in stadiums and in front of supporters," said SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan.

"This is not the way anybody involved with Scottish football would have wanted to conclude the league season but, given the grave and unprecedented circumstances that we are facing, the Board has agreed that it is the only practical way forward.

"Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on sporting competitions around the world and the repercussions will be felt for a long time. Scottish Government restrictions and deep concerns for both player and spectator safety left the SPFL with no realistic option but to call the Ladbrokes Premiership now and we thank the Premiership clubs for their support on this decision."

2019/20 Scottish Premiership final table

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"This decision now enables us to pay out around £7 million in fees to help clubs stay afloat during this incredibly difficult time. We will begin processing these payments immediately," said SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster.

"The focus of all those involved in the game will now turn to how we get football up and running again safely as soon as possible. Next season’s Betfred Cup first round group stage is scheduled to begin in mid-July, with coverage from Premier Sports. The 2020/21 League Season in all four of our Divisions is due to commence on 1 August, which coincides with the start of our new and exclusive five-year broadcasting deal with Sky Sports.

"Nobody should be under any illusion as to how complicated and difficult a challenge it will be to return Scottish football to normality. We will be liaising with Government on the best way forward and working to ensure that all of our 42 clubs are playing football again as soon as humanly possible."

Picture credit: ninopavisic / Shutterstock.com

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