John Hartson says Celtic's ninth straight title untainted by early season finish
"I think with that 13-point advantage, if we had got a resumption I think Celtic would've only extended that lead, widened the gap"
Last Updated: 20/05/20 4:03pm
Celtic's achievement in winning a ninth straight title should lose no credit because of the season's early end, ex-striker John Harton told The Football Show.
Hartson, who played 146 times for the Bhoys and scored 88 goals, paid tribute to the club's "wonderful achievement" in lifting a joint-record ninth consecutive top-flight league title.
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Celtic were awarded the trophy after a meeting of SPFL clubs on Monday curtailed the season early, with the club holding a 13-point lead over nearest rivals Rangers - a far cry from the turn of the year when Steven Gerrard's side trailed by only two points with a game in hand.
"It's a wonderful achievement," Hartson said. "I don't think it feels [less of an achievement]. I think with that 13-point advantage, if we had got a resumption I think Celtic would've only extended that lead, widened the gap.
"I'm not just saying this with my Celtic hat on, I really feel that if we'd got the resumption of the Scottish Premiership, Celtic would have widened that gap. I think their lead would have been extended. Mathematically, of course, things could have happened. But not for me. I think Celtic would have extended their lead because they had targets still to hit.
"Both teams went away to Dubai at the turn of the year, one came back and dominated in scintillating form, Rangers lost a few games which made that gap.
"Celtic have had a great season, they've only lost two in 30 games, they still had targets they wanted to hit - like getting to 100 goals, they're on 88 points and would've wanted to achieve 100.
"It's not ideal, but we're not in ideal times and a decision was made they were going to call it and they've given it to Celtic."
Hartson has spent his lockdown in Edinburgh, the home of relegated Hearts - who have said they are still open to the option of legal action to avoid dropping into the second tier without the season being finished.
"The Hearts situation, they feel as if they're very harshly done by," Hartson said. "I think they have a worthy point, in terms of they've been relegated. They don't want to go down, with eight games to go and 24 points to play for they were only four behind the second-bottom team Hamilton."