SPFL boss claims Celtic could finish 4th as he wins this year's most bizarre prediction yet

By David Walton

October 6, 2021

Airdrieonians boss Ian Murray has ridiculously predicted that Celtic could finish 4th as he analysed the start of the campaign.

The Hoops have had a slow start to the season so far. Sitting in sixth place with only four wins in eight, it’s been a tough period for new manager Ange Postecoglou.

Meanwhile, Hearts and Hibs have started the campaign on fire. Whilst Rangers sit top of the table, the Jambos are also five points clear of Celtic whilst Hibs are now only two in front.

Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

And surprise surprise the overexaggerated predictions have already begun. Airdrie boss Murray decided to take it a bit too far as he claimed both Edinburgh sides could finish ahead of Postecoglou’s side, before laughably claiming we could still come good in 18 months.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Murray said: “It’s a tough question [whether Hearts or Hibs will challenge for the title]. For Hibs and Hearts to compete, it’s really difficult because of budgets. What I do think is both sides could finish above Celtic.

“That’s not to be disrespectful to Celtic in any way because I actually think they will come good in the end over the next 18 months. It would be great if the Edinburgh clubs could go challenge [for the title] but I just think they drop too many silly points.

Two big Celtic games this month won’t be televised

Two big Celtic games this month won’t be televised

“In my opinion, Rangers have the best players, the best squad and they will produce more consistently than Hibs and Hearts will. Both teams have started really well. But when you look at Hibs’ bench, for example, you have to ask, ‘Is that strong enough to go challenge for the Premiership?”

If Hearts and Hibs drop too many silly points, they won’t finish above Celtic

Because Celtic have started the season poorly, there’s a picture being painted that this is what the rest of the season will be like. That the Hoops will struggle to make an impact and languish around 4th-6th in the table.

Come on. Celtic’s squad remains far too strong for that. Yes you can argue whether we’ll win the title this season or even compete strongly for it. But to start this nonsense about finishing behind both Hearts and Hibs? Seems more hopeful than expectant from Murray here.

Granted, considering he was speaking to the Record Rangers section of the newspaper, he’s likely just trying to show up well for his audience. But the truth is it’s an embarrassing move. Especially if you’re then going to turn around and say they won’t get near Rangers because they drop too many points.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

To also then claim that there’s no disrespect intended to Celtic because we’ll come good in 18 months? Seriously? So Postecoglou can finish 4th, but if he gets another six months after that we’ll be flying. If Celtic come anywhere near close to even threatening to be as low as that, the manager won’t last.

But it’s over the top nonsense to start the conversation about finishing below Hearts and Hibs. Especially coming off the back of a big away win at Pittodrie with our injury crisis easing nicely.

Things are about to get much better at Celtic in the coming weeks. Let’s see where the Edinburgh clubs are come the new year before we start talking about a dramatic fall at Parkhead.

In other news, Paul Lambert responds to Chris Sutton tweet after his on-air Celtic criticism