John Hartson thinks Rangers would receive “an awful lot of credit” were they to concede the title to Celtic amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The health pandemic has put a stop to football in most European countries, including Scotland – where Rangers currently trail Celtic by 13 points at the top of the SPL table.
Can Rangers still catch Celtic in the SPL title race? Five things to know…
- After 29 games Rangers sit second, 13 points behind Celtic – who have played one more game.
- If Rangers were to win their game in hand, they would reduce the gap to 10 points.
- And in that scenario, Celtic would need five wins from their final eight matches to win the title.
- That’s providing Rangers win all of their games – Celtic could lift the trophy earlier if Rangers drop points.
- Celtic have dropped just 10 points all season, winning 26 of their 30 league fixtures.
Celtic have eight games yet to play while Rangers have nine, meaning Steven Gerrard’s men still have a mathematical chance of winning the title if the campaign resumes.
Scottish football is suspended until April 30 and it remains to be seen whether the season will continue as early as May.
And Hartson, who spent five years of his playing career at Celtic, has brought up the possibility of his former club being handed the title with Rangers’ blessing.
“Rangers would come away with an awful lot of credit if they were to say ‘you have been worthy champions, you have a massive lead’,” Hartson said.
“I can honestly say I’d be saying exactly the same if Rangers had the lead. Celtic have got to probably lose five of their last eight games to be overtaken. Let’s be realistic, that isn’t going to happen.”
The 44-year-old went on to admit it is unlikely Rangers will concede the title to their fiercest rivals but suggested it would be “common sense” for Celtic to be named champions.
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He added: “It would be an incredible thing to do for Rangers, but like everyone else I don’t expect them to. It would be a commendable thing to do, but I’m not naive.
“This is their prerogative and if they wanted to play all the games, that’s fine. You’ve got a similar problem at the bottom with teams going for places and the money that comes with that.
“Celtic would not want Rangers to do that, they wouldn’t want to be handed it, but common sense has to prevail.”