No Scottish team had ever won back-to-back trebles before Celtic completed that feat between 2016-17 and 2017-18. No team in football had ever won a triple treble of national competitions before they then snared that achievement in 2018-19. In winning a fourth straight treble covering the 2019-20 season, Celtic have set a whole new global benchmark for straight trebles.
Celtic’s run of 69 domestic matches unbeaten between 15 May 2016 and 13 December 2017 is the longest such sequence in British football history. A total of 59 of those games came in the top-flight, making it the longest such run in Scotland for 100 years, with Willie Maley’s Celtic holding the overall record for their 62 game top-flight unbeaten streak between 20 November 1915 and 21 April 1917.
Celtic’s unbeaten treble of 2016-17 is a one-off. There have been no other such ‘invincibles’ among the 14 trebles across the annals of the Scottish game. It took 47 games to navigate the whole domestic season without loss.
Celtic remaining undefeated across the 38 league games of the 2016-17 season was a first for the modern age, with their 34 wins and four draws harvesting a record points haul of 106 - both that total and a league campaign without loss still within Rangers’ grasp this season. There have been two other top flight league campaigns without loss, but both came in the 19th century and were only over 18 games. Rangers had a faultless record in 1898-99, with Celtic posting 15 wins and three draws the previous season.
Brendan Rodgers is the man responsible for Celtic’s most seminal accomplishments across the club’s second nine-in-a-row - after Jock Stein’s 1965-66 to 1973-74 run - and Scotland’s third in all, Rangers’ equalling the record between 1988-89 and 1996-97. The Irishman also claimed a few sparkling feats of his own. He is the only manager in the history of Scottish football to win his first seven trophies; in reality every one he contested across a domestically unblemished two-years-and-nine-months at the helm from late May 2016. Moreover, he is the first man to win seven straight honours, eclipsing the six-run for Walter Smith at Rangers between 1992 and 1994.
Celtic’s trebles sequence allowed them to rack up 35 straight cup ties without defeat. That total obliterated the previous such best of 23, achieved by Rangers between 1992 and 1994.
The fact that Celtic’s quadruple treble meant four straight Scottish Cup successes claimed them another slice of history. Since the competition was first contested in 1873-74, no club had ever won it four times on the spin. That changed when Celtic emerged triumphant in the Covid-19 delayed 2019-20 final staged last December.
That penalty shoot-out final victory over Hearts was particularly significant for then Celtic manager Neil Lennon. It led to him becoming the first man in the Scottish game to claim a treble both as a player and manager. Moreover, as his 10th trophy across his two spells in charge, for major Celtic honours he is behind only Maley, who won 32, and Stein, the club’s most storied manager boasting 25.