Brown wants Celtic's lead to stand if coronavirus ends season

Scott Brown wants Celtic's lead to stand if the season ends due to the coronavirus

Celtic captain Scott Brown says the Scottish Premiership leaders should take the title if the season is forced to a premature end due to the coronavirus.

Football across Europe has been hit hard by the pandemic and the sport's Scottish authorities are discussing their next move after government plans were announced to curtail gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday.

Scottish Premiership matches could be played behind closed doors or the may be season temporarily suspended, as has happened in Italy and Spain.

If the entire campaign was cancelled that could deny Celtic the chance to retain the title.

Brown's team are 13 points clear of second placed Rangers ahead of Sunday's meeting between the Old Firm rivals at Ibrox.

"If it ends, it (the league table) stays as it is. We are in a good position, but we just need to focus on this game on Sunday," Brown said.

"The main thing is we make sure everyone is OK, they are all safe and we try and catch this on the head as soon as we can.

"But obviously we still want to play football and win as many games as we can, whether it's in front of fans or not."

When the prospect of a season finishing without a champion was suggested, Brown said: "I don't know what's going to happen, it just seems to get worse day by day.

"We have just got to take the lead from the club and the SFA as well and we will worry about that when it comes, but as things stand as it is just now, we are in a good position."

Meanwhile, daily talks between the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League will continue before they decide how to proceed under the new government regulations about crowd restrictions.

In a statement, SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell and SPFL counterpart Neil Doncaster said: "Following the First Minister's comments regarding plans to restrict public gatherings from next week, we will enter discussions with the Scottish Government to understand the full detail of their plans and the implications for clubs and national sides.

"For the avoidance of doubt, all SPFL games scheduled for this weekend will be proceeding as planned.

"Once we are in possession of a definitive action plan from the Scottish Government, we will communicate contingency plans as quickly and as accurately as possible to all our stakeholders."

Some football matches even in Scotland's top flight are played without a police presence and have private ambulance cover.

A 50,000 crowd gathered at Ibrox on Thursday as Rangers played Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League.

Scott Brown wants Celtic's lead to stand if the season ends due to the coronavirus