How many Scottish Premiership titles have Celtic won? Total compared with Rangers as Postecoglou triumphs again

Celtic retained the Scottish Premiership title they won in 2021/22 whilst season, making Australian manager Ange Postecoglou a league winner in both of his seasons at the club.

The Bhoys were initially revived under Postecoglou and are now the dominant force in Scotland again, losing only once on their way to sealing top spot with a 2-0 win at Hearts.

That said, fierce rivals Rangers are looking to push them all the way heading into 2024 with the pair meeting on December 30 in a potential title showdown. 

The Sporting News takes a look at how many titles Celtic have won across their trophy-laden history as they prepare to bring another Scottish crown back to Celtic Park.

MORE: Ange Postecoglou’s brutal take on VAR

How many Premiership titles have Celtic won?

Since being founded in 1888, Celtic have managed to win 53 Scottish Premiership titles, with 17 of them coming after the turn of the 21st century. 

Some of the most successful managers in football history have managed the Glasgow giants, including titan Willie Maley, who was in charge of the club for 43 years.

It is simply impossible to talk about Celtic without lavishing praise on the great Jock Stein, who guided them to becoming the first club from northern Europe to win the European Cup in 1967 during a campaign in which the Lisbon Lions won every trophy they entered.

Stein was one of a handful of Celtic managers to preside over an era of dominance in which the Scottish Premiership title found its home in Parkhead.

Jock Stein: ‘Lisbon Lions’ and the creation of a legend

  • 1965-1978
  • 10 Scottish titles (nine consecutive titles 1965-74)
  • 25 major trophies overall (including European Cup)

Where do you start? Known as the most influential figure in Celtic’s history, Jock Stein was the man that brought the club to the forefront of worldwide attention back in the 1960s and 1970s. 

In terms of major Scottish trophies, the Hoops managed to win the league title 10 times, with nine of these coming in a row between the years of 1965 and 1974. At the time, this was a feat of unprecedented dominance in Scottish football.

This form translated to the European stage and other cup competitions, as his side picked up a further 14 domestic honours over his tenure.

Most memorable, though, was when Celtic won the European Cup in 1967, defeating Inter Milan 2-1 in the final in Lisbon. They reached the final again in 1970, made semi-final appearances in 1971/72 and 1973/74, one quarter-final appearance in 1968/69 and reached the European Cup Winners Cup semi-final in 1965/66.

It is important to remember that Stein arrived at the club amid a backdrop of underachievement that hadn’t seen the Hoops win any league titles since 1953/54. Once Stein arrived and put his stamp on the club, the rest was history. 

Martin O’Neill: New millennium, new dominance

  • 2000-2005
  • Three Scottish Premiership titles and four domestic cups, including domestic treble
  • UEFA Cup final in 2003

After stopping Rangers from winning 10 in a row in 1998, Celtic lost the Scottish Premiership in 1998/99 and 1999/00 to their rejuvenated rivals. 

Martin O’Neill stepped in to turn the tide of Rangers’ domination, which had seen the Hoops win just one of an available 12 titles between 1988/89 and 1999/00. The Irishman would prove to be a crucial appointment by Celtic, as he helped to win Scottish Premierships in 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2003/04. 

Celtic would win the league at a canter in all three victorious seasons, setting a marker for the levels of success they have achieved in the 21st century. In his first match against adversaries Rangers, O’Neill’s men went on to record one of the most memorable Glasgow derby wins in history, defeating Rangers 6-2 in front of a rapturous home support. 

He would also take Celtic to a UEFA Cup final in 2003, where they narrowly lost to Jose Mourinho’s Porto 3-2 despite Henrik Larsson’s best efforts. He also oversaw three Scottish Cup wins and a Scottish League Cup triumph throughout his time at the club, completing the domestic treble in 2000/01. 

Similar to Jock Stein, O’Neill took Celtic from a state of disarray to being a reputable team domestically and on the continent. Without his contribution, things could’ve looked very different for Celtic in contemporary times. 

Lennon, Deila, Rodgers and Lennon again: The quadruple treble

  • Celtic won nine consecutive titles from 2011/12 to 2019/20 under three different managers
  • They clinched the ‘quadruple treble’, winning all three domestic trophies for four seasons running
  • Failed to deliver titles in a row in 2020/21, finishing 25 points off top spot

Gordon Strachan delivered three more titles between 2005/06 and 2007/08, but Celtic would not be crowned champions again until 2012.

Neil Lennon had been in charge since the tail end of 2009/10 and lost the league by a point in 2010/11, but he was to get his hands on the trophy a year later in what was the start of Celtic’s run to winning nine in a row for the second time in their history. 

Rangers had been in severe financial difficulty for a few years in the lead-up to 2011/12, which subsequently lead to the Hoops’ rivals going into administration, then liquidation and starting 2012/13 in the Scottish Third Division (fourth tier of Scottish football). 

Due to the league being weakened significantly, Celtic fairly comfortably wrapped up titles from 2012/13 to 2016/17 under Lennon, Ronny Deila, and Brendan Rodgers. In the latter, Rangers had worked their way up the pyramid and gained promotion to the Scottish Premiership, leading some to think that for the first time in years there could be a serious title race in Scotland. 

Despite this, Celtic went on the rampage under Rodgers, becoming the first and only side in Scottish football to go invincible in every domestic competition as they won the treble. They finished 30 points clear of Aberdeen in second, as well as being 39 above third-placed Rangers, who they defeated 5-1 home and away in two derby clashes. 

Another clean sweep of Scottish trophies followed in 2017/18 as their British-record unbeaten run of 69 domestic games unbeaten was finally ended by Hearts. The following season heralded a far more competent Rangers side, though Celtic were again crowned champions, topping the table by nine points. Another treble success was in order, making it three on the bounce despite much-loved Celtic manager Rodgers leaving for Leicester in February 2019 and Lennon returning to Parkhead.

The 2019/20 season proved to be a momentous one in the history of Celtic, as they clinched their ninth league title in a row as part of that latest treble. Lennon’s side recorded vital wins against Rangers at Ibrox, as well as a last-gasp Scott Brown winner at home to Hamilton Academical giving them a priceless 2-1 win at home that would spur them on to win the league championship. There were also domestic cup final victories over Hearts and Aberdeen.

The 2019/20 season was closed down early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning Celtic were eventually awarded their 51st league title on a points-per-game basis. In their delayed Scottish Cup schedule, which was played six months later, they would go on to claim the first ever quadruple treble, defeating Hearts on penalties in the final. They had beaten Rangers 1-0 in the Scottish League Cup final earlier that season.

Ange Postecoglou: Putting Celtic back on top – and then some

  • Celtic made a transitional start before regaining the Scottish title under Ange Postecoglou
  • An early loss at St Mirren was their only defeat before winning it again in his second season
  • Celtic could surpass Rangers’ honours haul in 2023-24 if Postecoglou’s trophy rate goes on

As much as it may seem like a memory from far longer ago than 2021 now, Celtic made a start so inauspicious under Postecoglou that it served to fuel talk from his critics that the first Australian to manager a major club in Europe had been a poor appointment by his club.

Expectations were not spectacularly high after Celtic finished 25 points behind Rangers the previous season, and the start of the Athens-born coach’s reign saw them knocked out of the UEFA Champions League qualification stage and find themselves midtable in the Premiership as part of a run started by a defeat to Hearts in the new boss’s first league game.

Scottish League Cup glory that December was a sign of the success to come, and a 3-0 win against Rangers in February was one of the highlights as Celtic finished four points above the side who they had spent a decade eyeing enviously from second place.

Celtic’s 21-goal superiority over Rangers was also a reflection of the high-octane style that has seen Postecoglou deservedly linked with vacancies in the English Premier League.

By the time they suffered their first defeat of the 2022-23 season – their only loss, by the time they won the title – Postecoglou’s players had won 5-0 at Kilmarnock, 9-0 at Dundee United and thumped Rangers 4-0 at home, with draws against Rangers and Motherwell in 2023 becoming the only other occasions on which they dropped points prior to lifting the trophy.

“They’ve maintained an absolutely ridiculous standard this year,” Postecoglou told BBC Scotland, praising a squad who had already won the 2022-23 Scottish League Cup  “They are relentless in their approach.”

Do Celtic or Rangers have more trophies?

The Glasgow rivalry is about as close as you’ll come within elite football: Rangers have 116 major honours to Celtic’s 115 trophies. Of course, arguments are often made by fans of both clubs about the prestigiousness and timing of trophies won.

Celtic could yet add to their tally in 2022/23: they face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the final of the Scottish Cup on June 3.

Trophies won by Celtic and Rangers

Team name Scottish top-tier league titles Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup European Cup/Champions League European Cup Winners Cup
Celtic 53 40 21 1 (1967) 0
Rangers 55 33 27 1 (1972)

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