Celtic: Brendan Rodgers unfazed by 'ignorance' of Premiership critics

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers
"With all due respect, it's a lack of knowledge of football," says Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has defended the standard of Scottish football as his unbeaten side close in on the Premiership title.

The leaders, who have won 26 of their 27 top-flight games, are 27 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen and require seven points to win the title.

Responding to criticism of Scottish football, Rodgers said: "It's ignorance really.

"The footballing world is more than the (English) Premier League."

Celtic's 4-0 victory at Inverness CT in midweek left them three games away from a sixth consecutive league title.

'Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in the world'

"With all due respect, it's a lack of knowledge of football," Rodgers said of criticism of Scotland's top flight.

"We all love to see the Premier League and I was part of it but football is global and Celtic is one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"But if your eyes are only on one league then of course you tend to ignore what's around that.

"It (Scottish Premiership) is not as prestigious as some of the other leagues and that's purely on the basis of finance. Financially, Scottish football doesn't have the same rewards or the same propaganda that surrounds some of the other leagues, but it's still a very very competitive league."

Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton echoed his manager's view and said the Premiership was a "competitive league".

"For us it is not as easy as it looks on the table. It's a very competitive league," said the Israel international.

Bitton, who featured in the win in the Highlands, believes critics of the Scottish Premiership are wide of the mark.

"I think every game is difficult and the other team are going to defend and try to get something out of the game," he said.

"A lot of people look at the table and think Celtic are far better team [than others] in the Scottish league and they have no competition. It's far from being true.

"I think you can see that players who have played in the Premier League like Joey Barton or Niko Kranjcar that came to Scotland and thought it was going to be easy.

"But no, it's not easy. It's a very competitive league, it's a very difficult league, it's very tough. Some places you go to play like Inverness on Wednesday night, believe me it's not easy."

Former Rangers midfielder Joey Barton in action against Scott Brown in the Old Firm derby
Former Rangers midfielder Joey Barton did not find Scottish football easy, says Nir Bitton


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