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'I didn't get it': Chris Sutton bites back at Gareth McAuley's Sunday Life claims that Celtic's nine-in-a-row is 'tainted'



Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton

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Chris Sutton

Celtic hero Chris Sutton has hit back at Gareth McAuley's Sunday Life column, in which the former Northern Ireland defender claims the Hoops' nine-in-a-row title streak was 'tainted and hollow'.

McAuley detailed his view that the current Celtic squad wouldn't be revered by future generations in the same league as previous nine-in-a-row winners due to Rangers' absence from the Premiership from 2012 to 2016 and the early award of this season's league crown.

Sutton, however, does not agree.

"It actually surprised me a little bit," he told the Daily Record's Celtic podcast.

"I haven't met Gareth but I've followed his career, he's had a good career as a player, he always seemed like a pretty solid guy to me.

"I have to say I was surprised at his comments, I mean his comments were s****housery of the highest order. It absolutely was.

"I mean the 'hollow and tainted' stuff I didn't get at all, if it was the other way round and Rangers had been awarded the title then I am absolutely positive he wouldn't be saying that sort of stuff."

McAuley also claimed that Celtic chief Neil Lennon's point that the latest title was his best of the lot were made to 'wind up' Rangers supporters.

"Gareth McAuley isn't entitled to speak for Neil Lennon, Neil Lennon knows what he is saying, so I didn't get that one," continued Sutton.

"And then he said deep down it would rankle with Neil Lennon that they weren't able to win it on the pitch, secure it on the pitch.

"I don't get that at all, the pressure for Neil Lennon going into the season, everyone was talking about 10-in-a-row but you have to win nine first so that was the pressure in itself.

"I think deep down, it will rankle more with Rangers players and the Rangers manager that they haven't been able to lay a glove on Celtic."

As the column was discussed on Talksport, famous Celtic supporter Rod Stewart said he had 'pulled' over to text host Jim White.

“Please remind your learned Rangers friend that he can’t come over and dismiss our achievements," he said.

Sutton, who scored over 60 goals and won four league titles in six years at Celtic Park, branded McAuley's claims that history would not remember the current Hoops' side as fondly as previous serial winners as 'absolute garbage'.

"The Rangers team, when you look at some of the names for their Nine in a Row, an absolutely fantastic team they were, but there is an argument to say this Celtic team that won Nine in a Row is a greater achievement than the Rangers team during the 90s," he continued.

"I'll say that because Rangers were able to go out and buy tried and tested top quality players.

"They bought Terry Butcher, the England captain, Laudrup, Gascoigne, top players, absolutely brilliant players.

"They were just cleaning up the best players.

"In the transfer market, Rangers were buying Terry Butcher and Celtic were buying Wayne Biggins, that summed things up.

"This Celtic nine-in-a-row is a standout achievement."

McAuley will have his reply in this weekend's Sunday Life column.

Belfast Telegraph