WILLIE COLLUM has been named Crawford Allan’s successor as the SFA’s new head of refereeing.

The 45-year-old match official was in charge of the champions’ 2-1 win over Philippe Clement’s Ibrox side at Parkhead on Saturday.

That will be one of the experienced referee’s last games before he takes over his new post in the summer.

Collum, a FIFA International referee who has had 20 years of officiating as a Category One ref, has resigned his job as a local authority Education Officer.

The whistler was in the middle of a controversial bust-up with Rangers over his involvement in VAR at the Hoops’ 2-1 win at Parkhead just before the turn of the year. They were incensed when he did not instruct match official Nick Walsh to have a review of an incident involving Alistair Johnston.

CHAT SHOW…Willie Collum has a pre-match conversation with former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

Collum’s VAR images later proved Abdulla Sima had been offside in the build-up which rendered the protests of the Govan club’s hierarchy as redundant.

A statement from the Scottish football powerbrokers said: “The Scottish FA and global sports recruitment experts Elevate Talent compiled a list of experienced applicants from four different continents.

“Willie’s experience, leadership responsibilities within the Scottish education system, understanding of the Scottish football landscape and resilience made him the outstanding candidate.

“He has refereed at UEFA EURO 2016, the 2015 UEFA Super Cup, in four Scottish Cup finals, two League Cup finals, and in over 250 FIFA and UEFA club and international competitions including the Champions League and Europa League, World Cup and European Qualifiers.”

Collum, as reported in the Scottish Sun, said: “I am proud and honoured to be appointed the Scottish FA’s Head of Refereeing.

“It’s well-known that I took up refereeing at the age of 14 and today’s announcement is the culmination of some of the greatest experiences of my career.

“It’s my strong view that the role of Head of Refereeing is responsible to all of Scottish football, not just the association, as I am fully aware of the passion and expectations from clubs, players, supporters and match officials themselves.

“I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I have as a referee without the support of my colleagues and team-mates within refereeing and my immediate priority is to galvanise the current network of match officials from Category One to those taking the field for the first time.

“I’ve been in their shoes at every level and want to help others fulfil their potential by overcoming the challenges along the way and seizing the opportunities.”

CHAT SHOW…Willie Collum has a discussion with Philippe Clement after the Ibrox side’s 2-1 loss at Parkhead at the weekend.

Collum continued: “I will outline my plan in detail when I start officially, but I was emphatic throughout the interview process that I want to improve, with consultation and consensus, the operation and delivery of VAR for all concerned.

“I want to use my experience to alleviate the unsustainable burden on our match officials and improve relations and mutual respect between match officials, club officials, players, coaches and fans.

“I would like to thank Crawford for leading the implementation of VAR and I know I can count on him for advice during the handover period and along the way. I look forward to getting started.”

Ian Maxwell, SFA Chief Executive, added: “When we announced that Crawford was leaving at the end of the season the board and senior team were clear that we would leave no stone unturned in getting the best candidate for a job that has become significantly more demanding with the arrival of VAR.

“We had applications from experienced candidates across the UK, Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. It is to Willie’s great credit that he emerged as the outstanding candidate from such a strong international field.

“Willie has had a unique refereeing career, which started in his early teens.

“He has gone on to become one of our most experienced and decorated match officials and has amassed the practical knowledge and experience to make a significant contribution as Head of Refereeing.

“He spoke with passion and purpose on how he sees the role of Head of Refereeing.

“We look forward to him implementing his plan and I would like to reiterate my thanks to Crawford Allan for his contribution over the last four years, not least leading on the feasibility and implementation of VAR.

“I know he will be on hand to support Willie during the handover period as required.”

Click Here for Comments >

About Author