SPFL drama edges closer to Celtic as Championship clubs polled on season end

By Euan Davidson

January 16, 2021

Celtic fans will be watching on with keen interest as Scottish Championship clubs are set to be asked by the SPFL about cancelling the season.

SFA chief Ian Maxwell has written to clubs in Scotland’s tier asking them if they want to carry on the 20-21 campaign (BBC). With the leagues below the Championship currently on a temporary hiatus, the second tier could be next.

According to the BBC, the Championship clubs have until the end of Monday’s business hours to respond. In his correspondence, Maxwell wrote:

“One SPFL championship club has publicly taken the position that all football should be suspended.

“The Scottish FA would like to understand the position of your club… please confirm if you are content to continue under the current exemption or whether your club considers that the Championship should be suspended.”

Needless to say, this could effect the Premiership in a significant way. Yesterday, Neil Doncaster said that “null and void” was not off the table. Further to this, Scotland’s National Clinical Director Jason Leitch described the Premiership situation as “fragile”.

Celtic have had a disastrous Premiership campaign so far / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Further SPFL decisions have reverberations for Celtic and the Premiership

Obviously, this has ramifications further up Scottish football. It’s not a vote on the Championship continuing, but it’s still an ominous sign.

Clubs have a duty of care for their players. If even one club speaks out about the safety elements of continuing the season, then the SFA and SPFL have to act.

On the one hand, it’s very sad to see Scottish football in almost exactly the same scenario as a year ago. We’d all hoped that Covid-19 would be a relic of the recent past by now.

However, from a Celtic perspective, it’s hard to imagine this season going any worse than it has. Out of Europe by Christmas, the Bhoys are now 21 points behind Rangers. That’s with 3 games in hand, granted, but the gulf between the top 2 is stark.

If the 20-21 Premiership season was written off, it would cause anger south of the Clyde, and rightly so. Rangers have been the best side in Scotland by some distance this season.

Still, a cancelled season might mean that Celtic would have one more go at 10IAR, technically speaking.

We’ll be watching the Championship’s decision with huge interest, knowing that the Premiership could be called at any time.