Willie Collum to take charge of first Celtic v Rangers match of the season

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Willie Collum will be the man in the middle for the first Old Firm match of the season, as Rangers travel the short distance to face Celtic at Parkhead on Sunday September 2.

Collum will be assisted by Frank Connor and Graeme Stewart while John Beaton is on fourth official duties.

Willie Collum will be the man in the middle for Celtic v Rangers this weekend. Picture: SNS Group

Willie Collum will be the man in the middle for Celtic v Rangers this weekend. Picture: SNS Group

It will be the fifth league meeting between the two teams that Collum has refereed. His last appointment to an Old Firm match was Celtic’s 3-2 win at Ibrox last season.

He was criticised by Steve Clarke last weekend after sending off Gary Dicker in the clash between Kilmarnock and Hearts at Rugby Park.

Killie are appealing the decision with Clarke claiming the Irishman won the ball cleanly.

• READ MORE - Why Kilmarnock’s Gary Dicker was shown a red card against Hearts

• READ MORE - Steve Clarke: The referee won the game for Hearts

Dicker saw red for his challenge on Hearts winger Callumn Morrison, with Uche Ikpeazu scoring the only goal of the game ten minutes later.

Collum wasted no time in reaching for his back pocket, reducing the hosts to 10 men for the remainder of the match.

“Gary won the ball, clearly”, said Clarke after reviewing the incident post match. “We’ll win the appeal so that’ll help us next week, but not today.

“The most disappointing thing is that such an experienced official couldn’t wait to get the card out of his pocket, rather than taking his time and assessing the situation.

“It wasn’t Ikpeazu that won the game for Hearts - it was the referee, unfortunately.”