Scottish Premiership season could end on Monday with SPFL to make final decision

Celtic could claim a ninth consecutive Scottish Premiership title

Hearts' Uche Ikpeazu (L) in action with Celtic's Scott Brown. 1:15
The SPFL board meet on Monday and could bring an end to the Scottish Premiership season with Celtic crowned champions and Hearts relegated

The Scottish Premiership 2019-20 season could end on Monday with the SPFL expected to make a final decision, which could see Celtic declared champions and Hearts relegated.

All 12 Premiership clubs met via conference call on Friday, with SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster also invited, and the SPFL board are meeting on Monday morning to decide the league's fate.

Celtic are 13 points clear at the top and on the verge of a ninth consecutive title while Hearts are four points adrift at the bottom of the table.

UEFA has asked Europe's top leagues to present their plans by May 25. The Scottish FA have suspended all football in Scotland until at least June 10, a date which is subject to review.

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First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon says there is not any significant change to the country's lockdown rules and insists they cannot ease up

In April, the 42 SPFL clubs voted - after some controversy - to end the season in the Championship, League One and League Two amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The SPFL board were also given the power to end the season in the Premiership if it became clear the fixtures could not be played.

In recent weeks, Scottish Premiership clubs have become resigned to the notion this season's league fixtures are unlikely to be completed.

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The SFA are working in conjunction with the SPFL and the Scottish government to formulate a plan for a resumption of football later in the summer, but Scotland remains in lockdown for at least another fortnight.

The SFA remain committed to completing this season's Scottish Cup at some point later in the calendar year, with the tournament at the semi-final stage.

A view of Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland 1:23
Charlie Nicholas has criticised the SPFL's handling of the vote that ended the season early in the lower leagues

'Decision expected on Monday'

Sky Sports News' Charles Paterson:

"Is there an expectation Celtic will be celebrating another title? It very much looks like that.

"Certainly at that meeting on Friday, which was attended by Neil Doncaster, the clubs came to an agreement - a resigned acceptance - that Scottish football will not be restarting for some time and the league cannot be completed.

"The Championship, League One and League Two have already finished after that controversial vote and that vote also gave the SPFL the power to end the Premiership season if the fixtures could not be played. The clubs are pretty much in agreement now about that.

"The board's job is to ratify a decision and we expect a decision to be made on Monday to end the Scottish Premiership season.

"That, we expect, would see Celtic crowned champions for a ninth successive year. It's not the way Neil Lennon and his players would want to win another title but they have a healthy lead at the top, even with Rangers' game in hand.

"Hearts would be relegated and judging by the rhetoric we have heard from Ann Budge, I don't think she will accept this. It's going to be very interesting to see what Hearts have to say about this. If league reconstruction can't happen, will they go down the legal route?"

McGregor: Celtic deserve ninth title in a row

Celtic's Callum McGregor celebrates his goal against Livingston 0:44
Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor says that Celtic deserve to be crowned Scottish champions for a ninth successive season

Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor says the club deserve to be crowned Scottish Premiership champions and secure a ninth league title in a row.

The Hoops are 13 points clear of rivals Rangers in the Premiership, and could be declared champions if the remaining eight rounds of fixtures are not completed.

"Regardless if we win it on the pitch, or in the circumstances that dictate we can't finish the season but still get crowned, either way we'd be worthy champions," McGregor told Sky Sports News.

"We've been absolutely outstanding and, over the course of the season, we've got so many wins together in a real attacking style, scoring a lot of goals.

"The boys were desperate to actually go and finish the season on a real high, the way we were playing, but that's been taken away.

"But to go and get nine titles in a row, that'd only be the second time in the club's history, so that tells you how big of an achievement that is in itself and something I know the players would be extremely proud of."

"So there are a few technicalities to work out there. Certainly we expect the clubs to reach agreement that the season would end and that decision could well be ratified on Monday by the SPFL board."

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