Let’s get something out of the way before I start this piece; in terms of the way he officiates, I would run Willie Collum out of Scottish football on the proverbial rail. To use somewhat harsh vernacular, and speaking metaphorically, I wouldn’t piss on the guy if he was on fire. In short, I don’t care what happens to him in terms of his career as a ref.
Still, it sticks in the craw somewhat to see the way he’s found himself the centre of a media firestorm, including, today, being placed in the gunsights by two former refs because he committed the unpardonable act of giving a decision Celtic’s way.
Not one of the other officials who have given bad decisions of late – not even the one who was photographed drinking in a Sevco supporters bar a couple of years back and whose decision making is suspect if we’re being generous – has been subjected to this kind of media onslaught for getting a decision wrong.
You will notice that there is not one word of criticism being aimed at Nick Walsh for allowing a nearly identical incident the following day to go unpunished.
Collum should be squirming.
Collum is a dreadful referee and he was sitting in the VAR box when Goldson did his Dennis Rodman impersonation at Ibrox against us, and he let that go, so if he gets drummed out of the game for failing to give Kilmarnock a penalty I’ll consider that a bit of karmic retribution and shed no tears whatsoever for him … but there’s something vaguely nauseating in the way the media picks and chooses who to take their shots at.
We’ve been on the wrong side of multiple decisions since VAR was introduced. Every official who has been at the centre of those has been defended and protected by the media, to a degree so ludicrous that Ange mocked it by accusing some of them of “mental gymnastics” in their determination to make excuses for even the worst calls.
So why is Collum any different in this case? Was the decision really that bad? As I said at the time, I thought it was a penalty and still do, but I also think Davies should have been penalised the following day and nobody wants to talk about that decision at all.
There is a reason why Collum in particular is being singled out. He has been the subject of complaints by the Ibrox club several times over the last couple of years, and of all the refs in Scotland you wonder why, in March last year, a national newspaper ran with the story that he’s been in charge of eight Glasgow derbies and we’ve only lost one of them?
I wrote about the media’s fixation with Collum and how the Ibrox club has frequently singled him out amongst the refs they are most critical of … and you want to know what the fact behind the story is?
He teaches R.E. at a Catholic school.
You want to talk about pushing agendas and stoking paranoia?
Some of us can smell what this is all about a mile away, and like I said we don’t even like this guy, we wouldn’t have him refereeing our games, we wouldn’t have him refereeing any game in this country.
But let’s not pretend that Collum isn’t a special case, because the history is there to prove it.
This is not the first time the media has singled him out for decisions he made … when the Ibrox club accused him of incompetence after he red-carded John Lundstram in August last year nobody came to his aid, just as nobody did when, he was the subject of a complaint in November 2019 from their club after sending off Daniel Candelas.
That’s the other great crime in Scottish football which no official does without considering the consequences; you cannot give Celtic tight decisions, and you cannot give them against Ibrox.
Nothing gets you in the headlines quicker, for all the wrong reasons.