Belgian outfit Club Brugge have been awarded the nation’s First Division title early, predictably sending Celtic-minded voices into overdrive concerning the title race with Rangers.

The Champions League group stage outfit currently sit 15 points clear at the top of the Belgian first division with only one game to go before the 16-team league goes into a unique split.

From here the top six are separated from the rest of the league, points are halved and rounded up, and the teams play each other home and away meaning Brugge still had 11 matches left to play in the division.

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Club Brugge coach Phillipe Clement had built up a considerable lead at the top of the Belgian First Division. ( Photo by Vincent Kalut / Photo News via Getty Images)

The decision means the Belgian league is the first major European competition to recommend that the season is ended early with the current standings declared final.

Any decision will be made final at a general assembly meeting on April 15th with the Belgian league saying resuming games continues to look “very unlikely” [Guardian].

The league is also said to have referenced the strain closed-door matches would put on public services, pointing to a risk of infecting footballers.


Celtic voices will now point to Club Brugge’s unassailable lead as if it is the same as their own 13-point advantage in Scotland.


Circumstances are very different here with Rangers having it within their own power to cut Celtic’s lead to four points.

The league in Belgium also comes to an end just as the division was set to split off with their unconventional league system allowing Brugge to win the first stage in a one-off Belgian season.

History has shown that the title race in Scotland is far from over and it remains unclear what will happen with regard the league season here.

For every Club Brugge, there will be ulterior examples from across Europe and it is difficult to see circumstances abroad dictating what happens in Scotland.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has questioned the sporting integrity of awarding league titles early. (photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

For example, leading figures associated with the likes of Ajax [De Telegraaf] and Juventus [Diario AS] have demanded the season is cancelled despite their sides currently leading the pack in Holland and Italy.

UEFA vice-president Michele Uva [La Repubblica] also revealed earlier that the decision on individual domestic campaigns will rest with respective football associations.

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