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Celtic FC Scottish Champions

Celtic are crowned Nine In A Row champions and Hearts relegated as SPFL call time on the season

The Hoops take their ninth title on the spin despite there being eight games still to play due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Celtic have won a record-equalling ninth title in a row after the SPFL called time on the 2019/20 season.

The move also condemns Hearts to relegation despite being just four points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership, a situation that could provoke the club into legal action.

It comes after a two-hour-long SPFL board meeting on Monday morning where the clubs decided to end the current campaign and focus on getting football back for the 2020/21 season.

A meeting was also held on Friday with no decision reached but clubs have now voted in favour of calling the season on an average points per game basis.

SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan congratulated Celtic while also expressing sorrow for Hearts.

He said: “Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to officially congratulate Celtic on their achievement of winning the Ladbrokes Premiership this season, and also to sincerely commiserate with Hearts on their relegation.

“We would all have rather seen the league season played out on pitches, in stadiums and in front of supporters. This is not the way anybody involved with Scottish football would have wanted to conclude the league season but, given the grave and unprecedented circumstances that we are facing, the board has agreed that it is the only practical way forward.”

Today’s decision sees the Hoops awarded £3.35million in prize money, while second-placed Rangers receive £2.3m.

It is the second time in history Celtic have reached nine on the bounce with their first effort coming between 1965 and 1974 under the tutelage of legendary boss Jock Stein.

Rangers matched their feat in 1997 for Walter Smith’s side.

Now, Neil Lennon’s squad have the chance to surpass both of those legendary teams by clinching their 10 title next term.

Celtic were 13 points clear when the season was called after a brilliant run of form following their defeat by Rangers at Celtic Park before the winter break.

Source: SPL