Veteran referee handed second straight Celtic assignment for Motherwell clash

By Dave Flanigan

November 6, 2022

Willie Collum has been confirmed as the referee for Celtic’s midweek trip to Fir Park to face Motherwell, the second Celtic away game in the Scottish Premiership in a row for the veteran referee.

The 43-year-old also officiated Celtic’s 3-0 win over Livingston in West Lothian last weekend, awarding the Hoops a late penalty via VAR, which Giorgos Giakoumakis thumped off the post.

It will be Collum’s third Celtic game of the season, he also officiated the August 4-1 Premier Sports Cup win over Ross County in Dingwall, when a much-changed side comfortably dispatched Malky McKay’s side for the second time in a month.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 20: Willie Collum rushes over to red card Alfredo Morelos of Rangers during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Hibernian FC and Rangers FC at on August 20, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As confirmed on the SFA website, Collum will be joined by assistant referees Dougie Potter and Craig Ferguson, in addition to fourth official Alan Newlands.

The VAR team will be made up of David Munro and John McCrossan.

Collum was in action in midweek in the Europa League, officiating Real Betis’ 3-0 win over HJK Helsinki, but has had a fairly quiet season Scottish Premiership-wise, the Fir Park clash will be just his 8th league match of the season so far.

Despite this, the whistler still came under heavy fire for his performance in Hibs’ 2-2 draw with Rangers in August that saw the Ibrox side reduced to nine men.

Another week, another round of VAR drama

It’s the issue that refuses to cease at the moment, VAR was once again in the spotlight this weekend after a farcical penalty award in Aberdeen’s 4-1 win over Hibs on Friday, followed up Dundee United’s ludicrous spot-kick in Paradise yesterday awarded against Alexandro Bernabei for handball.

Ange Postecoglou made his feelings about the current way in which the technology is being used in Scotland abundantly clear after the match yesterday, and many will share his frustrations in what has been a pretty laughable introductory month for VAR in Scotland.

With extended waiting times for checks and frequently wrong decisions even after the fact, you’d struggle to make a case for the technology improving the game in a tangible way in Scotland so far, though it will hopefully – surely – improve with time.

Much as it feels like something we’re saying every week at the moment, it would be nice if Wednesday’s game at Fir Park was one solely defined by the football on the pitch rather than the referees not even in the ground, which would be a relative first in recent weeks.

In other news: Dundee United boss Fox slams “unacceptable” aspect of Celtic defeat