Bad News For Joe Aribo After SPFL Ends Season

Joe Aribo will have to wait until next season for a chance to win the Scottish Premiership after the SPFL ended the season early.

League leaders Celtic, who were 13 points ahead of Aribo’s Rangers and had played a game more, were declared champions for a ninth straight season.

Bottom side Hearts have been relegated following the decision.

The decision to end the season was taken at a board meeting on Monday after the 12 clubs agreed at the end of last week that completing the campaign was unfeasible.

Average points per game played has been used to determine final placings.

Most teams in the division still had eight games to play when the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision to halt the campaign, though endorsed by all 12 clubs would nonetheless be a blow to Rangers manager Steven Gerrard who had hoped to push Celtic all the way.

Celtic qualify for the Champions League while Rangers and third-placed Motherwell go into the Europa League.

SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan said the league were left with “no realistic option but to call” the season.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster added the “clear and unanimous view” of the clubs was that the games could not be played and that the league can now pay out around £7m of prize money immediately.

“The focus will now turn to how we get football up and running again safely as soon as possible,” he said. “Nobody should be under any illusion as to how complicated and difficult a challenge it will be to return Scottish football to normality.”

The decision was taken by the SPFL board after a controversial April vote – backed by 81% of clubs – granted them the power to do so should they deem the 49 outstanding games unplayable.

Football at all levels in Scotland is suspended until at least 10 June and UEFA had asked associations to either declare their season or lay out their resumption plans by 25 May.

Super Eagles midfielder Aribo joined Rangers from English Championship side Charlton last summer and has become an integral part of the Gers midfield.

The dreadlocked 23-year-old scored three times in 27 league appearances and totalled nine goals and eight assists in 48 appearances in all competition.

His performances for the Gers earned him a call up to the national team and he promptly scored on his debut against Ukraine and followed it up with another striker in his second cap against Brazil. He has scored two goals in four appearances for the national side.