Ryan Jack believes referee Willie Collum should be dropped from officiating at Premiership fixtures for his failure to award Rangers a free-kick in the build-up to Celtic’s winning goal in Sunday’s Old Firm derby.
Rangers midfielder Jack went down under a challenge just outside the penalty area from Tom Rogic, who then launched the stunning counter attack which led to Olivier Ntcham scoring the only goal of the game at Celtic Park.
Steven Gerrard, the Rangers manager, was incensed by Collum allowing play to continue despite his fourth official John Beaton indicating through his communication earpiece that a foul had been committed.
Now Jack, who accuses Collum of behaving in an aloof manner towards players during games, has called for the Fifa-listed referee to be penalised.
“If you’re making mistakes time and time again, why should you be refereeing top games?” said Jack. “Should he be put down the divisions? I think that’s what should happen.
“We’re the ones who lose three points and we have to live with that, whereas if referees get things wrong, I don’t know if anything gets done about it.”
Collum was temporarily removed from top flight action in 2016 when, after a series of controversial decisions, he was taken out of the limelight by the Scottish FA and handed some Championship fixtures.
“I don’t know exactly what’s in place if referees do make mistakes,” added Jack. “On Sunday, I felt that Rogic took my leg away when I was in the air and when I came down I went over on my ankle.
“You get some decisions, you don’t get some and that one was costly for us. It was tough to take because that was the goal that won the game but it’s the same as it always is. You have to deal with it.
“At the time I said, ‘Willie, I thought that was a foul’. But you get nothing back. It’s just ‘Go away, get out my face’, or whatever. There’s nothing you can say. If you do try to approach to ask why, it’s a booking and another rash decision that’s going to be made on the pitch.
“It’s frustrating for players that you can’t actually approach a referee and ask for an explanation. I feel like I can’t approach him [Collum] but that goes for most referees nowadays. You can’t approach them, you can’t speak or they’ll book you.
“On Sunday, it makes you ask why the fourth official is there. He’s obviously watching from the side to give his input and advice to the referee. The referee didn’t want to listen and wanted to go with his own decision and what he thought but, as I say, it’s us that suffers.
“It comes back to the point that we don’t get answers. No-one gets answers. It’s brushed under the carpet. You’d like to think there could be a relationship where players could give their views. Maybe some refs haven’t played the game or see it different.”
Jack – who was speaking to the media in Edinburgh yesterday as the Scotland squad gathered ahead of the upcoming matches against Belgium and Albania at Hampden – has had more run-ins with Scottish match officials than most in recent times.
Last season, he was sent off four times, including once by Collum, and had two of the red cards rescinded on appeal. The 26-year-old former Aberdeen midfielder was also left aggrieved when a tackle on him by Cedric Kipre in a match against Motherwell was not even ruled a foul but left him sidelined for six months with a knee injury.
“That’s another decision where you think, ‘there’s six months of my career gone’ and the ref at the time [John Beaton] makes a decision that it’s not a foul, not a red card,” continued Jack.
“There are other times
when refs give a red card
when it’s not a red card. So you wonder what goes on in the background.”