Neil Lennon has told Celtic supporters that the club are deserved champions despite not playing the last eight rounds of matches this season.
The Celtic manager said in a statement on the official club website, "I returned to Celtic to win", after sealing his fifth league title success of the club's second historic nine-in-a-row.
The 12 top-flight clubs unanimously agreed that it was unfeasible to play the season's remaining fixtures due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a board meeting today the SPFL determined the final placings by calculating the average points per game played which meant the Hoops beat arch-rivals Rangers to the title by 13 points.
"In the tradition of our club I wanted to bring you positive, exciting football, to give you goals, an attacking, dynamic style of play which produced results," said Lennon in the statement.
"As a group we like to think we achieved that already and in this season in particular."
Several ex-Rangers players including Ally McCoist and Alan Hutton have expressed their belief that there would be as asterisk against Celtic's win as they haven't completed all of the season's matches.
Lennon urged supporters not to pay any heed to such comments.
"We would have loved to play out the season in front of you, it is what we all wanted. We were desperate to continue the blistering form we were in when the season was suspended," Lennon said.
"However, do not in any way let this detract from our achievement. While many will seek to challenge us, the title is ours and we deserve it. We are indeed champions for a reason."
Lennon thanked the players and his staff, including first team coach and former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff, for their efforts in sealing the historic title.
"It has also been an honour to work with such a special group of players, a squad crammed with talent, spirit, strength and resilience," said Lennon.
"I love these players - players who do their talking on the pitch and pride themselves in their professionalism.
"Led by a captain of the highest quality, these players are relentless in achieving their objectives – and they do it all for you, our great supporters.
"As manager of this great club it has been an honour to deliver your 9th successive title win. I could not have done this without John Kennedy and Damien Duff and thank both of them for their support."
The Armagh native also paid tribute to the club's supporters and to those connected with the club that have been affected by the pandemic.
"The passion, commitment and energy you bring to Celtic always gives us strength and it is these qualities which have been crucial in once again allowing us to deliver when it mattered," he added.
"You are the best around and once again you, along with my players, my backroom team, indeed everyone at the club… have been the difference.
"Together we have shown that we are a powerful force and once again the best team in the country.
"Of course, life has become very different and while we congratulate each other as supporters and celebrate our achievement, we can’t help but think of those people who continue to experience difficulty.
"Many of you will have had families directly affected by this crisis, many of you will be key workers, striving on a daily basis to keep us safe and many of you will have experienced challenges around employment and family life.
"So as everyone at the Club rightly celebrates our achievement, we also pay tribute to you all and remember the difficulties which so many people continue to face."
You can watch Lennon speaking in the video below;
9️⃣🏆 #9INAROW CHAMPIONS 🙌
“It feels wonderful. I’m so proud of the players, it’s an incredible record and to be part of that is something special. It’s thoroughly deserved.”#CelticFC’s nine-in-row winning manager, Neil Lennon 💚🍀#StayHomeStaySafe pic.twitter.com/4MGmUSo2Or
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) May 18, 2020