Alastair Johnston has claimed there would be an asterisk hanging over Celtic’s record if they were to be handed the Scottish Premiership in a curtailed season.
The former Rangers chairman says that their old-firm rivals would only be entitled to claim “eight and a half-in-a-row” if the current season is not completed in full.
Celtic lead their cross-city rivals by 13-points, however, Rangers have a game in hand and seven games remaining. Johnston claims that green half of Glasgow won’t want to have question marks hanging over their title win.
Speaking to The Times, Johnston 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.”
“The ideal would be to get the full season done, but there is also the reality of the financial situation,” said Johnston. “Can you actually afford to run by June? You’ve got a lot of players that are out of contract at the end of June. What’s going to happen? The financial circumstances of football clubs right now is also significant.
“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.”
Speaking last month following the suspension of the league season, Celtic boss Neil Lennon made his feelings clear on where the title should go if the season is cancelled.
“We have played over 30 games, that’s well over two-thirds of the season so we should be declared champions.
“Certainly, if you are talking about the Armageddon of the league being cancelled or stopped, it should go on the average points total which would make us clear champions and rightly so.”