Gary Caldwell says Celtic won't want a "little asterisk" next to their name

By David Walton

March 18, 2020

Gary Caldwell has urged the Scottish football authorities to finish the leagues as soon as they can, as he believes Celtic wouldn’t want a “little asterisk” next to their name.

Caldwell has been giving his own opinion on the future of Scottish football today. The former Celtic centre-back was part of Gordon Strachan’s title-winning team of 2007 and 2008. However, he was never a real fan-favourite during his time in Glasgow.

Even so, he has experience of being a title-winner in Scotland. He knows how sweet the taste of success that can only be felt by playing all 38 games and beating your rivals to the trophy.

Gary Caldwell (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

And speaking on Sky Sports News today (18/03, 11:05am), Caldwell wants the season to finish to avoid any asterisks being plastered on success.

“I think that’s really difficult (the league situation). My own opinion on it would be to finish the leagues whenever that can be because nobody would want a little asterisk next to their name.

“I think the relegation is probably even bigger than who wins the league because of the financial implications that would happen to Hearts. Obviously, with it being a little tighter at the bottom, that situation can change if the games get played.

“That is a really difficult decision for whoever has to make that, but I hope at some point we can finish the games and give the league winners the title on merit.”

It’s ignorance to claim Celtic wouldn’t have won the league title

What this situation has allowed is a big capacity for opportunism. Those who desperately want to try and taint Celtic’s success this season have their opening.

It’s exactly the same reason as to why Rangers were out howling about having to play 38 games before anything is decided. There’s real desperation from some in Scotland to avoid nine-in-a-row at all costs. That’s why you’ll barely find a Rangers fan who doesn’t want a null and void verdict.

But the truth is if the authorities did name Celtic champions, who could really argue about the validity of it? Neil Lennon’s side have been far and away the best side over the course of 30 matches.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon on the touchline vs Copenhagen (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It’s an insult to everyone’s intelligence to suggest that Celtic wouldn’t have won the championship if we played it to the end. Therefore, surely it’s only natural, considering there’s nothing more than a handful of games left, to give Celtic the title if we have to cancel the season?

Caldwell talks about asterisks, and he probably has a point to an extent. If we were given the league or not, it would most certainly frustrate the Celtic team that they couldn’t march over the line. But who could honestly say they wouldn’t have if given the chance?

Rangers fans and others will point to the fact that it’s not mathematically impossible for us to be caught. But it is highly improbable. So then, on the balance of probability, Celtic should be given the title if we can’t end things.

One thing’s for sure – null and void would continue to be a huge slap in the face to everyone for their efforts this season.