NICK WALSH will be in charge of the first Glasgow derby of the season when Celtic take on Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side at Parkhead on Saturday.
Hoops chairman Ian Bankier expressed “deep concerns” over the match official last season after his handling of a flashpoint incident during a Premiership meeting against St Johnstone in Glasgow on October 23.
Perth striker Chris Kane clearly pushed Cameron Carter-Vickers in the face after appearing to have two kicks at the ball which was stuck under the central defender’s body.
GROUNDED…St Johnstone striker Chris Kane puts the boot in with Cameron Carter-Vickers on the floor.
RED MISSED…Chris Kane lashes out as Cameron Carter-Vickers moves back with referee Nick Walsh getting a close-up view. Both players received a yellow card.
CQN published images that showed Walsh had a good view of the rumpus, but the Saints forward astonishingly escaped a straight red card and was merely booked.
Equally ludicrous was the yellow card for Carter-Vickers for his unwitting and unwilling part in the melee.
Thankfully, the blow-up did not interfere with Ange Postecoglou’s men’s concentration as the team won 2-0.
Asked during the Q&A section of the AGM a month later about match officials, supremo Bankier told club shareholders: “That is a source of deep concern. But we don’t run the SFA.
“We are a member club of which there are others and we get our shout, we get our say.
“You can’t expect us with a flick of the wrist tell the SFA what to do and what not to do.”
CRUNCH…Callum McGregor challenges Glen Kamara for a loose ball as referee Nick Walsh gets a close-up view.
SEEING RED…Walsh reacts to McGregor’s tackle and dismisses the Celtic midfielder at Ibrox.
This will be Walsh’s second time as match official in the fixture and the first ended 4-1 for Steven Gerrard’s side while the whistler red-carded Callum McGregor in only 26 minutes of a league encounter at Ibrox on May 2 2021.
It was goalless when Mohamed Elyounoussi struck the crossbar and the home side raced to the other end of the pitch with Ryan Kent having a shot blocked and the Hoops midfielder, booked moments earlier, accidentally clattered into Glen Kamara.
The opponent hit the deck as Walsh waved play on. The ball broke again to Kent who fired in a shot from the edge of the box and Kemar Roofe reacted quicker than Kristoffer Ajer to get his chest to the ball and deflect it past Scott Bain.
The referee then returned to the earlier McGregor tackle to show a second yellow card and it was game over for the vice captain.
Walsh will be assisted at Parkhead by Graeme Stewart and Calum Spence, while Steven McLean has been appointed fourth official.