LONDON: Celtic have been declared Scottish champions for a record-equalling ninth successive season while Hearts were relegated after the clubs voted on Monday to end the Premiership season early because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The SPFL has today announced that, following consultation with all 12 top-flight clubs, the Board of the SPFL has determined that the 2019/20 Ladbrokes Premiership has been concluded with immediate effect,” the Scottish Professional Football League said in a statement.
“The decision means that Celtic are crowned 2019/20 champions and Hearts have been relegated to the Championship.”
When the season was stopped in March because of the pandemic, Celtic were 13 points clear of Old Firm rivals Rangers, who had a game in hand, while Hearts were four points adrift at the bottom of the standings. Places were decided on a points-per-game average.
Hearts said they were still considering legal action, saying they had been “unfairly penalized” because of the pandemic.
In a statement the Edinburgh club said they would be submitting a member’s resolution offering a “pragmatic solution” to the issues the game is facing. Hearts believe there is an appetite for a restructuring of the Scottish leagues.
“It is our belief that this resolution, if supported, will provide an opportunity to avoid disproportionately disadvantaging — financially and otherwise — any club,” Hearts said.
Premier League clubsto resum e training from Tuesday
Premier League clubs will return to training on Tuesday after agreeing to allow “small group” sessions to begin.
The league held a conference call for all 20 clubs on Monday where the move was given unanimous backing.
It is the first step in the league’s “Project Restart” plans to restart play in the league which has not held a game since March 9 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to return to small group training from tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon — the first step towards restarting the Premier League, when safe to do so,” the league said in a statement.
“Step One of the Return to Training Protocol enables squads to train while maintaining social distancing. Contact training is not yet permitted,” it added.
The league said the decision had been taken in consultation with players, managers, Premier League club doctors, independent experts and the government.
“Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible,” it added.
“The health and well-being of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process.
“Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, clubs, the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) and LMA (League Managers Association) as protocols for full-contact training are developed,” the statement concluded.