"Nice conspiracy"; Davie Provan hits out at Levein's anti-Celtic title theory

By David Walton

December 6, 2020

Davie Provan has dismissed the ridiculous Craig Levein idea that the league was ended last season partly so Celtic could get their hands on nine-in-a-row.

Levein made the comments on the Football Daft podcast just over a week ago, where he said: “This whole stuff last season with Hearts getting relegated was a nonsense, an absolute nonsense, and part of it was to do with Celtic getting the title so that they could try and break this record of nine-in-a-row. I just can’t be bothered with it.”

It was a stance that will undoubtedly have gone down well in Midlothian with the Hearts faithful, who Levein has a strained relationship with after brutal spells as a Director of Football and in his second stint as manager.

However, Provan wasn’t having Levein’s theory when writing in his Scottish Sun column. Here’s what the former Celtic man had to say:

“Craig Levein claims last season was called early to help Celtic’s bid for ten in a row. Nice conspiracy but it was down to skint clubs desperate to get their hands on prize money.

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“But Levein is right claiming the Old Firm have too much influence on Scottish football. Of the two Glasgow giants, Levein said: “I’m fed up with the two of them. It’s all people think football is in Scotland.”

“That perception would change if the Edinburgh clubs ever get their act together. In the last 60 years, they’ve won eight trophies between the two of them. Not good enough.”

Hearts and Hibs only have themselves to blame for Glasgow’s dominance

The Scottish Premiership hasn’t been away from Glasgow since Aberdeen took the title in the 1984-85 season. But you have to go back a lot further to find a time when Hearts or Hibs last won the title. 1960 was the last time Hearts lifted the league in Scotland, but Celtic and Rangers can’t be blamed for Edinburgh’s drought.

Hibs, Hearts, and Aberdeen for that matter all have finances that should keep them of a higher quality than the likes of Kilmarnock, Ross County, Motherwell etc. They come up against the same sides Celtic and Rangers do yet continue to flounder so often against sides they should be overcoming.

Much has been made of Hibernian’s strong start that sees them sitting third in the Premiership. However, they’ve still failed to win eight of their 16 games. The likes of  St Johnstone, Ross County, and Motherwell are just some examples of the sides who have taken something off Ross’ side this season.

Craig Levein with Celtic boss Neil Lennon / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yet they’re considered to be doing well whilst we view ourselves in a crisis despite being one point clear of them with three games in-hand. What a difference in standards.

As for Hearts, they’re in the Championship thanks to years of financial and on-field mismanagement. Something Levein was central to. They aren’t in the Championship for anything other than their failure to win more than four out of 30 games last season.

Levein can have a pop at Celtic’s dominance if he wants and claim that he’s sick of Glasgow’s stranglehold on Scottish football. He’s entitled to that view, but let’s not suddently start accusing Celtic for Hearts’ embarrassing on-field performances last season that led to relegation.

Edinburgh football has been underperforming for a long time. They’ve always had the backing to make things interesting at the top of the table – the fact they haven’t been able to do so in years is on them and nobody else.

In other news, we discuss why today is the first of many final chances for Neil Lennon.