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Celtic 9-in-a-row bid cannot be voided | Peter Lawwell

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15:57 19 Mar 2020

Peter Lawwell insists that Celtic's bid to win their ninth consecutive title can not be cast aside amid uncertainty around the 2019/20 season.

It is the first time that the Celtic chief executive has spoken since the coronavirus outbreak forced Scottish football into an indefinite shutdown.

The reigning champions are currently top of the Scottish Premiership table with a 13 point advantage over their nearest rivals, Rangers, who have a game in hand.

The Ibrox club stated earlier this week that the campaign can only be considered completed when all 38 games have been played.

In a statement released this afternoon, Lawell insists that the current season cannot be chalked off.

"With regard to the present domestic Premiership League situation, our strong preference is, of course, to complete all remaining matches," said Lawwell.

"To date, we have had a magnificent campaign, undefeated in this calendar year, completing 30 league matches already to create a commanding lead and we are now on the cusp of winning our ninth successive title.

"As many have already said, the season cannot be voided as the consequences of that are so severe."

With Celtic only having eight games left to play in the current term, Lawwell believes that the decision over what to do next lies with the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

"In the event that the matches cannot be completed, then the responsibility to find a fair and reasonable solution for the finalisation of all domestic leagues will be with the Scottish football governing bodies," added Lawwell.

"We hope that the governing bodies are able to provide some clarity to clubs and supporters as soon as possible on the way forward, although we appreciate that this is a hugely demanding time."

Lawwell is holding daily executive management briefings at the club but accepts that it is a hard time with everyone involved at Celtic.

"This is a worrying time for us all," said Lawwell.

"In such a difficult situation for everyone concerned, above all, the health and well-being of people is of paramount importance.

"I would like to thank all our staff for their ongoing commitment and professionalism in very challenging circumstances, and I thank our fans for their understanding and tremendous ongoing support and engagement.

"We all continue to navigate our way through these unprecedented times with continued teamwork and support for each other.

"We urge all our colleagues and supporters to do all they can to stay safe at this time."

Lawwell also states the club's intention to announce some initiatives to try and help some of those who are experiencing tough times amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"We realise the hugely damaging effect these circumstances will have on clubs of all sizes across Scotland, Europe and beyond," said Lawwell.

"The health of everyone in football and society is always the priority, but we hope clubs find a way through these testing times and ensure that the game we all love can thrive again as soon as possible.

"Everyone at Celtic Football Club and Celtic FC Foundation is aware of how Coronavirus is impacting on our communities.

"We are pleased to announce today that we are putting resources in place with the aim of helping the most vulnerable in our society during this period and we will make an announcement shortly with regards to these plans.

"Our aim is to do as much as we possibly can to help those in need."

You can read the statement in full here.

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Celtic Peter Lawwell SPFL Scottish Football Scottish Premiership

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