Celtic fans celebrate latest Scottish triumph in scenes Premier League hope to avoid
Celtic fans were forced to leave Parkhead by Police after turning up to celebrate the club’s latest Scottish Premiership triumph.
And the scenes are unlikely to go unnoticed in England, amid worries over supporters potentially congregating outside grounds when the Premier League returns.
The Scottish Professional Football League held a board meeting on Monday and confirmed the decision to end the season early. On Friday the 12 top-flight clubs had agreed that the campaign could not be completed.
That duly handed the Bhoys a ninth successive league title; when the coronavirus pandemic halted the competition on March 13 they held a 13-point lead over rivals Rangers, having played one more match.
A club statement instructed fans to celebrate at home and not make their way to the ground, but some couldn’t stay away.
Supporters wearing Celtic shirts and waving specially made Nine In A Row flags were seen outside the stadium.
Officers from Police Scotland met fans, attempting to enforce social distancing rules.
Fans congregating outside grounds in England when football returns has been a big issue for Police trying to ensure security at the remaining 92 top-flight fixtures.
It was a major reason for their push for neutral venues as part of Project Restart, something which a number of clubs have been vocally against.
Liverpool city mayor Joe Anderson has been a dissenting voice, and said: “Even if it was behind closed doors, many thousands of people would turn up outside Anfield to celebrate, so I think it’s a non-starter.”
However, the club hit back strongly at his suggestion and number of others and fan groups have vowed that supporters would not crowd around home stadiums amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
And the Bundesliga’s return at the weekend largely went off without issue.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has now challenged his side to go in search of a perfect 10 next season.
“Going into the season we knew nine was within our grasp but it was still so far away, it was a pressure season but we smashed it,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We were on track for 100 goals, we were on track for 100 points. The consistency, the exciting football, the brand we played… it was really pleasing. To be stood here as manager with nine titles in a row is something you dream of.
“We were looking forward to the run-in and hoped to win the trophy in front of our supporters but it wasn’t to be me. But it was a fantastic season and we were just itching for more.
“I can safely say now that we can go for the 10. I’ve been sitting on that for a while.
“When I got the job again last year fans were talking about 10 but we had to get to nine first. Going for the 10 is historic, momentous and we’re all out to do it.”
At the other end of the table, relegated Hearts said they are still considering legal action, saying they had been “unfairly penalised” because of the pandemic.
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.