Former Rangers manager Walter Smith has dismissed the idea that the Celtic nine-in-a-row triumph between 2011 and 2020 doesn’t count.

Some Ibrox supporters in recent years have tried to discredit the achievement of Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers, either because they weren’t in the top-flight, or because of last year’s decision to curtail the season due to the pandemic.

Smith is having none of that though and is a surprising ally of those who rightly defend Celtic’s incredible run of trophies.

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As quoted by The Daily Record, he said: “Look, whatever happened to Rangers, whether I agree with what happened or I don’t, it doesn’t matter, because it happened.

“Rangers weren’t in the league. But what do you say, then, that it doesn’t happen? No, it does happen. And Celtic won them. Listen, to qualify that, people might turn round and say – including myself – that it was easier because Rangers weren’t there.

“But you’ve still got to do it. You don’t get anywhere by looking back the way all the time. Celtic have won nine championships in Scotland. And that’s it. That’s what they’ve done.”

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Some Rangers fans may not like that, but Smith is right – it’s ludicrous to suggest our run of trophies don’t count.

Even in the years that the new club were promoted to the Scottish top-flight, Celtic were more often and not far and away the best team.

It’s not as if Celtic were competitive for much of Smith’s own run to nine titles in the 1990s.

After Jock Stein’s trailblazing side dominated Scotland in the 1960s and 70s, Celtic have now won nine-in-a-row twice.

Celtic Walter Smith

Kieran Tierney lifts one of Celtic’s nine titles in a row / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

That stands as a fine, unparalleled achievement and is something that can never be taken away from us.

We don’t need Walter Smith to tell us that, but maybe it will sink in with that lot across the city.

In other news, a promising French youngster has completed a trial with Celtic at Lennoxtown.

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