RANGERS legend Ally McCoist claims he has SYMPATHY for Celtic after they were awarded the Scottish Premiership yesterday.

The Hoops landed their ninth title in a row after SPFL bosses called time on the season due to the coronavirus crisis.

And despite continuing their dominance, McCoist believes Neil Lennon's side will be disappointed at not getting the chance to play the season out in full.

On talkSPORT he said: "I think you have to have a degree - as well as offering congratulations to Celtic - you have to have a degree of sympathy as well.

"I've gone on record as saying, and I stand by it, if you're a Celtic player or a Celtic supporter, anyone involved with Celtic, you'd have wanted to see the season finished. As did everybody else.

"That's the only fair way to do it. It's through no fault of their own, absolutely through no fault of their own, that the season's finished early and they've been awarded the title in this manner.

"Listen, you've got to say: Celtic have been the best team in the league this season by a considerable margin. That's the facts of the matter.

"They're 13 points clear, Rangers have a game in hand. Could Rangers have caught them? Absolutely. Was it likely? No, not at all. 

"It was probably highly unlikely that Rangers caught them. The fact of the matter is they still could have caught them. 

"The unfortunate thing for all the teams is the league campaign hasn't been given the opportunity to finish."

McCoist feels there is no question that an asterisk will be placed beside the achievements of Celtic and the other Scottish division winners Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers.

"They will have an asterisk next to it, of course they will," he said. "Because you're not going to tell me you're not going to look back on this season and say they were awarded the title, they were awarded promotion. Of course thy were.

"There is a massive difference between the use of the words 'asterisk' and 'tainted'. The title and the promotions aren't tainted because it's through no fault of their own, but you can't argue there will not be an asterisk.

"The asterisk will say, through no fault of their own, this season has been different."

Celtic manager Neil Lennon had earlier dismissed suggestions he would have sympathy for Rangers that their attempts to catch up had been denied.

"I have no sympathy for Rangers at all," Lennon said. "I doubt very much any right-minded person would have envisaged Rangers catching us.

"Not only were we 13 points clear but we were 25 (ahead) in goal difference as well. So you could easily say we were 14 points clear.

"The only sympathy I have is for my own players, that they never got the chance to play out the season. We were also in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and going for a fourth treble.

"In terms of the league championship, it was only going, in our minds, to one place."