Hearts are the winners of the Scottish Championship.
Saturday’s 3-0 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle, courtesy of Gary Mackay-Steven’s brace and a goal from Aaron McEneff, set the stage for Hearts to celebrate their title win at Tynecastle Park.
Besides, it’s customary for teams to lift a league trophy at the final home game of the season, even if Hearts fans were forced to watch the celebrations from home due to the global situation.
Hearts win the Scottish Championship
But this was a trophy lift like no other and if certain sections of the Hearts support had their way, then Robbie Neilson’s squad wouldn’t have even touched the silverware at all.
That’s because there is a feeling amongst some that Hearts’ relegation from the Scottish Premiership last season was unjust.
Hearts were sent crashing down to the second tier on a points-per-game technicality when the season was cut short despite potentially being able to survive if the remaining ties could be played.
Terry’s passionate RANT about Fabián Balbuena’s RED CARD (Football Terrace)
Hearts relegated on a technicality
However, even when Hearts took their grievances to Edinburgh’s Court of Session, the decision was upheld and The Jam Tarts have been forced to fight their way back into the Scottish top-flight.
But the aforementioned anger at the club even being in the Scottish Championship sparked a debate ahead of the Inverness clash about how they should treat the trophy-lifting ceremony.
In the end, Hearts decided against both snubbing the silverware and producing the sort of wild scenes of joy you’d usually expect, instead going for a low-key “act of respect” with no “fanfare”.
Hearts’ awkward trophy celebrations
Fair play, Hearts and it’s important to take that context into the footage of the trophy ceremony that we’re about to show you because otherwise, you’d probably be rather confused.
That’s because Hearts and Steven Naismith’s blasé was even prompted BBC Sport Scotland to wonder whether it was: ‘The most awkward title celebration ever?’
And if there’s been a more awkward example – give or take pre-season titles – then we haven’t seen it, so be sure to check out Hearts celebrating their Scottish Championship title down below:
Don’t get too ahead of yourselves, lads.
Fair play, Hearts
Obviously, you’ve got to respect the reasons behind Hearts’ decision and relegation can be crushing for everyone involved at a football club, never mind when it’s brought about by a technicality.
As such, it’s more than understandable that Naismith wouldn’t want to be jumping up and down like a madman, scrambling for the champagne and speed-dialing an open-bus parade.
Per the Daily Record, the former Rangers and Everton man said after the game: “Normally with the successful teams I have been in, you have a nice day on trophy day, you have a nice pitch and nice performance and today was that.
“On the football side it was very good and it was probably a marker of where we need to be.
“That’s been the problem in the past and when you put in performances like that people expect it, and we can’t lose sight of that going forward.”