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Sir Kenny Dalglish: Celtic deserve to be crowned champions but it’s not right to relegate Hearts at the same time

© SNS GroupCeltic skipper Scott Brown with the SPFL trophy
Celtic skipper Scott Brown with the SPFL trophy

It appears Celtic will be crowned Premiership champions tomorrow, so congratulations to Neil Lennon and his squad for their achievement of nine-in-a-row.

They have more points on the board than any other club, and even though Rangers, mathematically, could have caught them, it was very unlikely they would have overturned the 13-point deficit.

To produce a high level of consistency over a period of nine months is not an easy thing to do, and to do it for nine consecutive years is extremely special.

Captain Scott Brown has led his team by example, and he deserves huge credit.

But I have great sympathy for Hearts, with the Edinburgh club relegated at the same time as Celtic get the title.

I can fully understand why, with eight games to play, they feel that is unfair.

Just four points behind Hamilton Accies when football went into lockdown, they certainly had enough games to play to claw it back.

However, they don’t appear to be for giving up, and there now seems to be another call for them to come up with a plan for reconstruction for the start of the new campaign.

But this does not sit well with me. A decision needs to be made that everyone abides by.

If the SPFL is officially going to call the season tomorrow, then why should there be the possibility of an avenue for the bottom club to escape relegation?

If Hearts owner, Ann Budge, comes up with something three or four weeks from now and manages to get it to a vote, then I feel that could leave the whole of Scottish football wide open.

What would there then be to stop any Premiership club, whether they sit in second place like Rangers, third place or seventh place to also have a change of mind, and decide they want to challenge the outcome we expect to be announced tomorrow?

It could throw the game into absolute chaos, and could make the wrangling of the past five weeks seem small-time.

There needs to be consistency, and one decision can’t contradict another.

We can’t allow any more farcical situations, such as the one involving Dundee last month when their vote was sent, lost, then they were allowed to change it the following week.

So, whatever decision is made tomorrow or later in the week, the hierarchy must be absolutely sure there is no chance for a legal challenge further down the line.

This call must be absolutely water-tight.

Not only does that apply to how it effects their own member clubs, but also the television companies.

Is the SPFL executive 100% certain that BT Sport might not look to challenge all of this?

After all, they were due 11 live games and the six play-off games. That could amount to a significant sum of money.

Is the SPFL executive absolutely sure that Sky Sports might not look to be financially compensated for missing out on two Old Firm games and the final league weekend of this season?

The last thing Scottish football needs is any potential repercussions – financial or otherwise – from what we expect to be formalised tomorrow.

The spotlight has been on the SPFL board for the past few weeks, and that resulted in the resolution Rangers put forward for an independent inquiry.

It was a comfortable victory for the clubs who didn’t side with the Ibrox club last Tuesday, but 31% of clubs still made it clear that they are not happy with the current SPFL governance.

This is something that, in time, needs to be addressed. It should not be swept under the carpet.

And when so many clubs have questions marks against the current regime at the top, then would you really want to rush into reconstruction under their guidance and leadership?

What we all want to see is Scottish football thriving and flourishing in the new season.

It has all the ingredients to be an absolute cracker. Celtic will going for 10 titles on the trot, and Rangers will be trying to stop them.

Steven Gerrard knows that his team must find a way of beating the likes of Kilmarnock and Aberdeen regularly.

It’s no good beating Celtic but then falling at other hurdles.

The Ibrox club have to find the same level as their Old Firm rivals, week-in, week-out.

It may sound easy, but it is not. Winning is difficult, trust me.

That’s why Celtic deserve praise and applause for this season.

Yes, they would have much rather have played the 38 games, and not have the league called after only 30.

But that isn’t their fault. They have won the league under the current circumstances. Credit to them for that.

It would be unfair to say otherwise.