Let me be as clear as I can be at the opening of this piece; I don’t know a single football fan – and certainly not a single Celtic fan – who wants games behind closed doors, a suspension or a premature end brought to the season.
Like every other football fan, I wish some seasons didn’t have to end. As the misery is piled onto Sevco, as the pain spreads, I feel that way about the present one. I want it to last.
More than that, I want the nine.
I want our club to take a step closer to the ten.
We have given everything in this campaign. We have amassed a thirteen-point lead, which they can only cut to ten if they win their game in hand. We were due to play them this weekend, and their club is on its knees. I am convinced we’d have won comfortably.
I feel we’ve earned this. It might not be “official” but we are the champions. On merit. On the balance of the games played so far, 30 of them. We haven’t been just the best team, we’ve been the best team by a country mile.
For all that, it matters to me how we win.
Because we earned this, I want no excuses, no pitiful sniping from the side-lines, not from anybody. So if the season can be completed I want it completed. If the job can be done right, then I want the job done right. Every single Celtic fan feels this way.
I’d say every football fan would but I don’t believe that’s true.
I’ll be writing about Sevconia later.
They give me plenty to ponder and discuss with you all. Their club remains a disgrace to the Scottish game. I’ll get to them in due course, but for the moment let’s just say that if they saw an opportunity to deprive us of what we’re due they’d leap on it in a second, exploiting any scenario no matter how extreme and their fans would lap it up.
They wouldn’t care how they won this. That’s the difference.
But for all that, we have won this. We have earned it. We are entitled to it.
The wailing has already begun from clubs like Hearts, about how the season lasts 38 games … well this one probably isn’t going to, and even if it did some things are already perfectly clear.
Hearts are the worst team in the league and are going to be relegated.
Celtic are the best and are going to be champions.
If the league closes down on 30 games played, then as far as I’m concerned it’s too bad on the also-rans. Football is a meritocracy and no-one can argue that the official standings after a season of 30 matches aren’t on merit.
And you know something else? If the roles were reversed I’d feel the same.
If the gap was three points instead of thirteen, I’d feel the same. This is an exceptional shut-down and a premature finish to the season will be an exceptional one. The old certainties do not apply. I will take the title in these circumstances. What I won’t take is us being screwed out of it.
I promised you guys that even if the football stops that the show will go on. The work of this blog will go on, except that it’ll adapt itself to covering the fall-out whatever that might be.
What’s clear is that we’re now deep in the political game, delving into rules and regulations and the laws of the sport. Pressure is already coming from all corners of the game here to scrap the league and declare it void. We have to resist that with all we have.
If the mandate comes from UEFA and they say all leagues are cancelled and all the competitions around Europe declared void, I will accept their decision and watch with great interest as clubs like Liverpool, clubs like Celtic, clubs all across the continent, challenge that ruling.
It will create an epochal shambles of biblical proportions. No European seedings known. No national champions declared. In that cluster-bomb shambles, who qualifies for next seasons major competitions? Who really knows? Let the shockwaves roll out across the game.
What I will not tolerate is a corrupt cabal of hacks, officials, administrators and pressure from Ibrox decide that Scotland will follow a path separate from other nations and void the campaign when we’ve just about wrapped it up in a bow.
This is where we are today. Football has been temporarily suspended.
I’m going to be honest, with the way the government in London has opted to deal with this, it’s more likely than not that a lot of players in Scotland are already sick, whether symptomatic or not. It is certain that some of them will be before long. This move is the right one, but way too late.
So to me, this is about a simple question; what’s the likelihood of games being rescheduled and actually taking place? With the government having acknowledged that we’re not even going to see this peak for two months it’s somewhere between slim and none.
It is almost inevitable now that the season is going to terminate from this point forward; I can see no realistic path towards the completion of the campaign. We didn’t even get matches behind closed doors before the shutters came down. I doubt we’re going to get them now.
The real battle will behind the scenes, and it’ll be the one for our title. We are Scottish football’s champions for the season 2019-20 … that is the simple fact of it. We have won this title. Nobody is going to take it from us, unless they pull it out of our cold dead hands.
That’s the message Celtic should be sending out.
The fight starts now.