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Hearts Relegated, Celtic Confirmed Champs

Celtic have been crowned champions for a ninth season in a row after the SPFL decided to end the 2019-20 campaign

Celtic have been confirmed as Scottish champions for the ninth season in a row and Hearts have been relegated after the SPFL ended the season.

The decision was taken at a board meeting yesterday after the 12 clubs agreed at the end of last week that completing the campaign was unfeasible.

Average points per game played have been used to determine final placings.

The only change to the table from when football was halted on 13 March is that St. Johnstone go sixth ‒ above Hibernian.

Celtic were 13 points ahead of nearest challengers Rangers ‒ having played a game more ‒ when the season was put into abeyance. Like most teams in the division, Neil Lennon’s side still had eight games to play.

Hearts were four adrift of Hamilton Academical at the bottom with a possible 24 points available.

However, the Tynecastle club do hold slim hopes of a reprieve after chair Ann Budge was given approval to work on a proposal for temporary league reconstruction, which would involve expanding the top flight.

SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan congratulated Celtic commiserated with Hearts and said the league were left with “no realistic option but to call” the season.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster added the “clear and unanimous view” of the club was that the games could not be played and that the league can now pay out around £7m of prize money immediately.

On 8 April – little over three weeks after football was halted – the SPFL asked clubs to vote on whether the lower-league season should be ended. If more than 75% of the 42 clubs backed the plan, the league would have the right to call the Premiership.

Then, on Friday, the SPFL hosted a meeting of top-flight clubs at which they agreed that it would not be possible to finish the season and that it should be called.

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