Willie Collum lands top job with Scottish FA as veteran referee hangs up whistle with immediate effect

New SFA head of refereeing appointed after ‘extensive recruitment process’

Willie Collum has vowed to improve the VAR process in Scotland after being appointed the new head of refereeing at the Scottish Football Association.

The experienced category one official will hang up his whistle with immediate effect in order to take up the new position, replacing the outgoing Crawford Allan, who steps down at the end of the season.

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Collum took charge of the final match of his near 30-year career as a referee at Parkhead last Saturday as Celtic claimed a 2-1 victory over Rangers to all but wrap up a third consecutive Scottish Premiership title.

Willie Collum has been appointed the new Scottish FA head of refereeing. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Willie Collum has been appointed the new Scottish FA head of refereeing. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Willie Collum has been appointed the new Scottish FA head of refereeing. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Collum, who is also quitting his job as an education officer with North Lanarkshire Council, will start his new full-time role in early July following what the SFA described as "an extensive recruitment" process.

Collum, who started refereeing aged 14, stated that one of his priorities was to progress the use of video assistants ahead of its second full season of use in the Scottish game.

“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,” he said. “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.”

The 45-year-old has taken charge of six domestic cup finals, a UEFA Super Cup final and at Euro 2016 among more than 250 European and international matches.

A statement from the governing body read: “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.”

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SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell 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.”



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