KEVIN Clancy will take charge of a Celtic game for the third time already in 2015 when refereeing the Scottish champions’ trip to St Johnstone this weekend.
The 31-year-old Fifa official – who also oversaw Dundee United’s 3-0 Scottish Cup win over Stranraer last Sunday – will be in the middle as Ronny Deila’s Scottish Premiership leaders travel to Perth to face Tommy Wright’s men in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.
He will be assisted at McDiarmid Park by linesmen Stuart MacMillan and Graeme Stewart while the fourth official will be Andrew Dallas.
Clancy oversaw Celtic’s away Premiership matches against Kilmarnock and Ross County during January as well as their home clash with Dundee in November and League Cup quarter-final thrashing of Partick Thistle in October.
He has also handled four St Johnstone matches this term with the most recent coming against Inverness in the Highlands on January 20.
The last of his 13 Premiership appointments this term came 10 days later when St Mirren won 1-0 at Partick Thistle.
All but one of the six games he has refereed in this calendar year so far has been televised, including his first Dundee derby on New Year’s Day.
Clancy has officiated 23 matches in total in all competitions – brandishing 86 yellow cards, sending off four players and awarding five penalties.
He first took up the whistle in 2000 and was admitted to the Scottish FA five years later.
The Renfrewshire-based official was promoted to a Category One referee in 2009 and – having hugely impressed in the SFL – oversaw his first SPL match in April 2012.
Such was his fast progression, he was even recognised by Fifa – one of seven currently from Scotland on the list – before his promotion to the top-flight had been confirmed.
Clancy’s most high-profile appointments came last season when he officiated his only major final to date in the Ramsdens Cup at Easter Road as Raith Rovers shocked Rangers and the Championship play-off semi first leg between Hamilton Accies and Falkirk.
He was also the fourth official to Craig Thomson for the 2013 League Cup Final at Hampden Park when St Mirren beat Hearts 3-2 and was part of the same referee’s team as an additional assistant in last season’s Scottish Cup Final at Celtic Park involving St Johnstone.
Clancy has been at the helm for several low-key Europa League matches and been behind the goal as a member of Willie Collum’s Champions League group of officials.
He is widely regarded as a lenient and respectable referee who keeps control of games well and rarely attracts controversy.
Celtic – who beat Dundee at Dens Park last weekend to reach the Scottish Cup quarter-finals – can pull clear of second-placed Aberdeen with victory at Partick Thistle on Wednesday night before taking on St Johnstone.
The sixth-placed Saints have won just one of their last six league games and were dumped out of the Scottish Cup as holders last weekend by Championship outfit Queen of the South.
In the corresponding fixture at McDiarmid Park back in August, the Hoops ran out comfortable 3-0 winners after a tale of two penalty incidents with one awarded and one ignored by John Beaton on that occasion as Saints skipper Dave Mackay saw red.
The 12:45pm kick-off will be screened live on Sky Sports 1.