Former Celtic striker and Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has laughed off John Hartson’s suggestion that Rangers should admit defeat in the title race.

Hartson put forward his view on BBC Sportsound on Sunday. The Welsh forward said that Rangers would get plenty of credit for admitting that Celtic deserve the title and should forfeit their own push for it.

Celtic currently sit 13 points clear of the Ibrox side at the top of the Scottish Premiership with eight rounds of fixtures to go. Rangers, however, still have a game in hand that could chop it down to 10.


John Hartson believes Rangers should surrender

John Hartson believes Rangers should surrender (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

And Nicholas, speaking in his Daily Express column (24/03, page 53), has hit back at Hartson for his comments.

“John Hartson said that if Rangers concede the title to Celtic they would come away with a lot of credit. But from who? Hartson? There is no chance of Rangers getting any credit from anywhere.

“Their own fans would be up in arms for a start. Rangers can’t conceded the title and why should they? As I have said all along Celtic need to win it for themselves.

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“Hopefully we will get back playing and everything will be decided on the pitch as it should be.”

Nothing ludicrous about Hartson’s suggestion

Nicholas is going a tad over the top by saying Rangers wouldn’t get any credit for conceding the title. Of course they would.

They’re lagging behind in second but can still mathematically catch us. If they were to openly be as honest as possible and admit that they weren’t going to achieve it, it would be credited by many. Hartson’s assertion is hardly ridiculous.

Of course, Nicholas does have a point when he discusses the Ibrox supporters. Like it or not, they wouldn’t stand for anything like that. They’re far too blinded by bitterness and an obsession to stop 10-in-a-row that admitting defeat just wouldn’t even be an option for them.

Celtic celebrate a league title win

Celtic celebrate a league title win (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

But we all know the truth. We all know what would’ve happened if we had played on until the end of the season. If anything, Celtic’s 13-point gap at the top of the Premiership was only going to increase.

The Hoops, after all, had won 12 of 13 domestic matches and were unbeaten in all of them (Soccerbase). Where on earth was the evidence that Celtic were going to suddenly lose four of their final eight games?

You can’t say their bottle could’ve crashed. This is the eight-in-a-row champions we’re talking about. It’s beyond reasonable doubt that we would’ve taken the championship. For that reason alone, Hartson’s hopes that Rangers would show a bit of class was hardly out of this world.

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