With the SFA announcing the referee for Sunday earlier this week, which side should be concerned by Willie Collum’s appointment?
It feels that whenever a referee is appointed for an Old Firm game – both sets of supporters groan in unison. John Beaton, Craig Thomson, and Collum all suffer the same collective anger from supporters when the announcement is made.
It’s come to the stage now where no referee in Scotland can be appointed as Old Firm ref without collective rage from both sides.
However, which side should genuinely have concern about Collum’s previous performances in these fixtures?
Collum has Champions League experience and has watch over five Old Firm games in his career, and has dished out a total of 24 yellow cards in them. 15 of those bookings have been given against Rangers, whilst nine have been given to Celtic.
Two red cards have also been dished out in Collum’s five matches. However, both sides have had one apiece. Rangers had Philippe Senderos sent off back in 2016, whilst Celtic saw Jozo Simunovic red carded at Ibrox in March.
A disappointing omen for Rangers fans is that Celtic have won four of the five Old Firms Collum has refereed. Rangers’ only win did come at Celtic Park back in 2010. Celtic have won the only other Parkhead fixture Collum has watched over.
In terms of penalty kicks, both sides have also been awarded just one each.
Rangers were given one when Kirk Broadfoot was fouled in the box during the 3-1 success in 2010. Celtic’s came when Leigh Griffiths was taken down by James Tavernier in a 2-0 defeat for the Gers at Hampden.
Collum has yet to referee a Rangers match this season. However, he continues to be fairly card-happy, dishing out 13 yellow cards and one red in his seven matches so far.
So, looking at the stats, neither side can have a major gripe over the other with regards to Collum.
He’s far from the best referee in the world, but there’s certainly more inconsistent ones out there.
Rangers players can’t get too wound up with the referee on Sunday, and must focus solely on silencing Parkhead for the first time since 2010.