Chris Sutton's 'Celtic should be champions' contradiction as Michael Stewart responds to ex-Rangers ace's racing analogy for season being called off
The pundit, writing in his Daily Record column, has said the relevant authorities and organisations should “just call them now” and end the season.
He said: “There’s no way we are going to see the game returning any time soon. The English Leagues have set a date in early April but there’s no chance of that happening.
“UEFA have rightly put the Champions and Europa Leagues on ice but there’s an argument for just writing them off completely this year and starting them up again next season.”
Sutton proposes awarding Celtic the league title due to their commanding lead, comparing them to Liverpool in the Premier League, and relegating Hearts who sit bottom of the league with Dundee United replacing them.
He wrote: “Neil Doncaster said the campaign can’t be made null and void and that’s fine – just declare it straight away instead.
“No doubt there will be an angry mob up in arms at the suggestion but it’s a matter of common sense. The hard work has been done by most of the clubs.
“Celtic are 13 points clear at the top, Liverpool are miles ahead in England. Leeds United have worked hard to get to the top of the Championship, Dundee United have done the hard yards up here.
“There would be outcry for the teams who get relegation, but I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.
“Hearts would need to go down. I’m sure Ann Budge would be on to the lawyers but they have been the worst side in Scotland this season and as it stands they would deserve to go down.
“It works both ways. And before anyone says it’s just because it’s Celtic, then think again. I have a close attachment to Norwich City and if we draw a line under the campaign they have to go down.”
Can of worms
However, Sutton argues in his Daily Mail column that the Premier League can’t be called off, citing Aston Villa, who sit 19th but have a game in hand. If they won they would jump up the table.
He wrote: “If we were to cancel the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League and say no one will be declared winners of those competitions this season, then we could live with that.
“But to cancel this Premier League campaign right now, declare Liverpool as champions and relegate Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich, would open up a can of worms.”
Horses and hurdles
Sutton’s fellow BT Sport pundit Alex Rae reckons no winner can be declared.
The former Rangers midfielder used a horse racing analogy to back up his claim on Twitter.
He tweeted: “If a horse race over a mile starts and one horse is 10 lengths clear and the rest have fallen and the lead horse falls at the last hurdle do they give the lead horse the win as he was in front + does the bookies pay out as a winner ???
“Asking for a friend?”
It prompted a response from BBC pundit Michael Stewart.
He replied: “Although I agree in principle that we should be trying to finish the campaigns before handing out trophies, equally these are unprecedented times and we should stay away from the partisan rhetoric. It doesn’t help anyone during these difficult times.”
Meanwhile, ex-Rangers manager Mark Warburton stated his belief that the season should be played until it’s conclusion.
He said: “The game is all about opinions of course but surely you must finish whatever has been started. You can amend future events and schedules! Most importantly everyone stay safe and well!”