'They've won eight-in-a-row an...


'They've won eight-in-a-row and then this one' | Smith has dig at Celtic

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Ex-Rangers boss Walter Smith has had a dig at his former rivals Celtic following the club's second nine-in-a-row league title success.

Last week the Parkhead club were confirmed by the SPFL as the Scottish Premiership champions for the ninth season running.

The final placings were determined by calculating the average points per game played, after all the clubs agreed that it was unfeasible to play the remaining eight rounds of the season due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some former Rangers players have expressed dissatisfaction with the democratic process and claim that there should be an asterisk beside Celtic's latest title win because they were unable to play the remaining matches.

Smith expressed his own issues with Neil Lennon's team sealing a historic second nine-in-a-row when he was asked if his old club will be inspired by Celtic's dominance going into the new season.

"Yea hopefully that will spur them on," Smith said on the Sky Sports Football Show podcast.

"I don't think there's any doubt that, Rangers have had a lot of years now when Celtic have been uppermost in the league."

"They've had a really good team. They've managed to win nine championships in a row...well, eight championships in a row and now this one for a ninth.

"We're in strange times. We're looking at all the smaller countries in Europe [who] have decided to finish their leagues and do the same thing as we've done in Scotland.

"Whether we like it or whether we don't, we just have to accept it and get on with it and hopefully Rangers, who have - under Steven Gerrard - been making progress over the last couple of seasons, can get together and hopefully try and prevent Celtic getting ten."

Celtic first completed the nine-in-a-row achievement in 1974 but it was matched by Rangers under Smith in 1997.

Wim Jansen took the manager's job with the Hoops the following season and prevented Rangers winning the elusive tenth by claiming the title.

"When we were at nine-in-a-row Celtic won the tenth and celebrated," recalled Smith.

"While we were disappointed, they had great celebrations for one-in-a-row. That's the way it is in Scotland, it's going to be that way next season.

"Steven and the people that run Rangers will know that and hopefully they can have the same reaction as Celtic had to Rangers, going and doing that.

"You can't take away from the fact that Steven's doing a really good job.

"Rangers haven't been in the circumstances they were in a lot of the time when I was the manager and when Graeme [Souness] was the manager as well. We got a great deal of help from the board.

"The board are doing a really good job helping the club recover from what is unprecedented times for Rangers and everybody is trying to pull together. Hopefully they'll get it together next season.

"They've shown this season that they can challenge. They just had that blip after the break and hopefully next season that challenge can bring a tangible result for them at the end of the day."

Interestingly Souness, a co-host on the podcast, highlights a possible asterisk beside one of Smith's own league title successes with the Ibrox club.

Smith was officially in charge for seven of the title wins after he took the manager's job over when Souness departed for Liverpool in 1991.

"When I left they went on to win nine-in-a-row," said Souness.

"I certainly won two and then the third one, I think I left in April and we were sitting on top of the league.

"I don't know if Walter's in a good mood today, or a bad mood, he might decide to give me that [one]."

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9-In-A-Row Celtic Ibrox Neil Lennon Parkhead Rangers Scottish Premiership Walter Smith

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