If you're a Celtic fan who has been missing some of the shade throwing etc. in your rivalry with Rangers since the football season was suspended then you've come to the right place. Rangers' director Alastair Johnston has been talking to The Times about the possibility of the season not being completed and his views are sure to get stoke some of those smouldering embers.
This is of course the year that Celtic are going for a record equalling ninth league title in a row and are currently 13 points clear in the Ladbrokes Premiership - albeit with Rangers having one match extra to play.
Like many domestic leagues around Europe, the SPFL have a decision to make on whether finishing out the season is a realistic possibility or if they need to go down the route of calling it as it is or declaring the season null and void.
Should they go with the option of calling it as it is then Alastair Johnston questions if Celtic's nine-in-a-row achievement would be seen more as an eight-and-a-half-in-a-row. Speaking to The Times, he said:
"I don’t want to be frivolous about it but a lot of Rangers fans have reached out to me and basically said, ‘Mr Johnston, if Celtic are designated as the winners of the league, does it mean they have won eight-and-a-half in a row?’ That’s not something you want — that asterisk. So ideally I can’t imagine that anybody really wants to have their efforts undermined or compromised or not appreciated."
While there's no doubt the ideal scenario for everyone is still to finish the season out, in reality the chances of Rangers catching Celtic at the top is slim to nil. On the otherhand, the relegation battle is a more contentious issue, with Hearts currently sitting bottom of the table but only four points behind Hamilton Academical.
With club prize money for a one-way-or-another completed league at stake, Johnston rightly pointed out that the financial situation will play a big factor in dictating the plan of action going forward: “Ideally from the clubs’ standpoint and for the integrity of the game, we would like every effort to be made to finish the season. That’s going to be challenging. There is still April, May, June and potentially July before things get going again, but we’ve got to be realistic. We’ve got to work with reality and not aspiration, no question about that.”
Over the weekend, former Rangers player Barry Ferguson said that if Celtic are crowned champions without another match being played then it's a decision that needs to be respected. Speaking to The Sunday Post, Ferguson said: "“As a Rangers fan myself, would I be happy? No, I wouldn’t, but the leagues have to make a decision ... The SPFL have a really tough decision to make and we have to respect what they decide."
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