Kevin Clancy will referee Rangers’ Premiership clash with Aberdeen at Pittodrie and Nick Walsh will handle Celtic’s flag-day meeting with newly-promoted Livingston at Celtic Park.
The match official appointments for the opening weekend of the 2018/19 Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) season have been revealed.
Last season’s Scottish Cup final referee Kevin Clancy will take charge of Sunday’s televised Premiership clash between Aberdeen and Rangers as new Gers boss Steven Gerrard oversees his first league game, at Pittodrie in front of the Sky Sports cameras (kick-off 13:00 BST).
Nick Walsh will be in the middle for champions Celtic’s encounter with newly-promoted Livingston on Saturday at Celtic Park, where the title-winning flag will be unfurled before the 15:00 BST kick-off.
Elsewhere, fellow newly-promoted side St Mirren’s home match against Dundee will be officiated by Alan Muir.
John Beaton will referee Kilmarnock against St Johnstone at Rugby Park and Andrew Dallas has been appointed to Hearts’ trip to Hamilton Academical.
Meanwhile, Fifa officials Craig Thomson, Willie Collum and Steven McLean have been handed Championship games on the first weekend.
Thomson will take charge as Ayr, who were promoted to the second tier as League One champions last term, welcome relegated Partick Thistle to Somerset Park.
Collum will be in the middle at Tannadice when Dundee United kick off their second season in the second tier at home to Dunfermline Athletic, with McLean on duty at the Falkirk Stadium for Falkirk’s clash with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Here are the full list of appointments as the 2018/19 campaign gets under way…
SATURDAY 4 AUGUST 2018
Celtic v Livingston
3pm kick-off at Celtic Park
Referee: Nick Walsh
Assistants: Dougie Potter and Andy Milne
Fourth official: David Munro
Hamilton Academical v Hearts
3pm kick-off at New Douglas Park
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Assistants: Stuart Stevenson and Daniel McFarlane
Fourth official: John McKendrick
Hibernian v Motherwell
3pm kick-off at Easter Road
Referee: Bobby Madden
Assistants: Jordan Stokoe and David Doig
Fourth official: Gavin Duncan
Kilmarnock v St Johnstone
3pm kick-off at Rugby Park
Referee: John Beaton
Assistants: Alastair Mather and Sean Carr
Fourth official: Euan Anderson
St Mirren v Dundee
3pm kick-off at the Simple Digital Arena
Referee: Alan Muir
Assistants: Paul O’Neill and Michael Banks
Fourth official: Steven Kirkland
Ayr United v Partick Thistle
3pm kick-off at Somerset Park
Referee: Craig Thomson
Assistants: Calum Spence and Daniel Graves
Dundee United v Dunfermline Athletic
3pm kick-off at Tannadice
Referee: Willie Collum
Assistants: Drew Kirkland and Alan Macfadyen
Falkirk v Inverness Caledonian Thistle
3pm kick-off at The Falkirk Stadium
Referee: Steven McLean
Assistants: Ralph Gordon and Craig Ferguson
Greenock Morton v Queen of the South
3pm kick-off at Cappielow
Referee: Gavin Duncan
Assistants: Andrew McWilliam and Kevin McElhinney
Ross County v Alloa Athletic
3pm kick-off at The Global Energy Stadium
Referee: Mike Roncone
Assistants: Frank Connor and Jonathan Bell
Scottish League One
East Fife v Dumbarton
3pm kick-off at Bayview Stadium
Referee: Grant Irvine
Assistants: Joseph Lawson and George Calder
Forfar Athletic v Airdrieonians
3pm kick-off at Station Park
Referee: Graham Beaton
Assistants: Graham Chambers and Robert Thomson
Montrose v Arbroath
3pm kick-off at Links Park
Referee: Alan Newlands
Assistants: Gordon Crawford and Ryan Oliver
Stenhousemuir v Brechin City
3pm kick-off at Ochilview Park
Referee: Barry Cook
Assistants: David Roome and Mark McHendry
Stranraer v Raith Rovers
3pm kick-off at Stair Park
Referee: David Lowe
Assistants: Gary Hilland and Craig King
SUNDAY 5 AUGUST 2018
Aberdeen v Rangers
1pm kick-off at Pittodrie – live on Sky Sports
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Assistants: David McGeachie and Graeme Stewart
Fourth official: Don Robertson
Why Andrew Dallas has the potential, in time, to be Scottish football’s leading referee – just like his father more than a decade ago.
As far as the limelight in Scottish football is concerned, referee Andrew Dallas isn’t normally too far away from the headlines – for one reason or another.
He has been the subject of ridicule and constant criticism since taking up the whistle in 2012/13, particularly when stepping up to the unforgiving environment of the Scottish Premiership at the start of the 2014/15 season.
It would be fair to say it has sometimes been warranted but too often it has gone too far, although not quite to the level experienced by his colleague Willie Collum, who received death threats after awarding a controversial penalty in an Old Firm match in 2010.
Dallas has often been too brash and almost tried too hard to get himself noticed but has come a long way since being branded ‘devious and manipulative’ by Kenny Shiels in 2013 and ‘not ready’ to officiate in the top flight by John Hughes in 2015.
Mistakes are part and parcel of the game and a referee’s development. Like any official, he has had his fair share.
Dallas wrongly booked Hearts midfielder Malaury Martin, thinking he had tripped Motherwell’s Louis Moult, when in fact the striker had fallen over his own team-mate Lionel Ainsworth in a Premiership clash at Tynecastle in February 2017. In fairness, he later rang then Hearts boss Ian Cathro to apologise for the error.
Back in August, Partick Thistle boss Alan Archibald was left in doubt that Dallas should have awarded a last-minute penalty for his side, who were trailing 1-0 to Celtic in the Glasgow derby at Firhill when Nir Bitton appeared to impede Miles Storey in the box.
More recently, he gave St Johnstone midfielder David Wotherspoon his marching orders for a second bookable offence in their 1-0 defeat at Hearts – a decision which was branded ‘ridiculous’ by Saints boss Tommy Wright, who appears to have his own vendetta against Dallas.
“Same old, same old with that same referee,” Wright told BBC Scotland after the game. “I have been [disappointed] most of the times I’ve had him. I have probably spoken to [SFA Head of Referee Operations] John Fleming more about Andrew Dallas than any referee. Nothing seems to change.”
He has been under-fire and naturally took time to adapt to the rigours of the rough and tumble of Premiership football but has come on leaps and downs, in the last 12 months alone.
Earlier this month, Dallas was slammed on social media for disallowing an early goal for Motherwell in their Scottish Cup quarter-final win over Hearts but, by the letter of the law, which the referees know inside out, he was spot on as Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin had the ball within his grasp – even if it was just with one hand.
He was also right to award Hearts a penalty after Cedric Kipre wiped out Steven Naismith and ignore appeals for a second spotkick for Craig Levein’s side late on for handball after the ball struck Andy Rose, but it wasn’t intentional. Getting the big calls right is the main thing that should be expected of a referee and he did that in the important tie at Fir Park.
Although it’s the least glamorous trophy of them all, it was still a big occasion for the two Championship clubs that he knew well, at a ground he has become accustomed to refereeing at in St Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park.
He put in a solid display overall and stayed under the radar – issuing five yellow cards and correctly awarding Inverness a late penalty for handball by Dumbarton left-back Chris McLaughlin, which Iain Vigurs had saved by Sons stopper Scott Gallacher before Carl Tremarco spared his team-mate’s blushes with a last-gasp winner.
Being awarded the final of the competition which is primarily for Championship, League One and League Two clubs in Scotland acted as a springboard in the successful careers of fellow officials Craig Thomson and Calum Murray, to name but two.
Despite some boos ringing around the ground as he stepped up to collect his medal after the game, Dallas could be happy of his performance and undoubtedly his father Hugh would have been proud of his display as he watched on from the stands.
Dallas has the shadow of his dad – the last Scotsman to go to a World Cup who spent 15 years officiating in Scotland before hanging up his whistle in 2005 – to contend with and there are always going to be comparisons drawn between them.
But he has spoken in the past about how his old man has been “invaluable” to him and he was the one who suggested that he took up the whistle in the first place. Claims that he has progressed as far as he has to date because of his father’s stature are also unfair, because he has reached the highest level on merit through his own hard work and determination.
Dallas has already demonstrated his capabilities and didn’t get fast-tracked on to the Fifa list in January 2015 for no reason.
2017/18 really has been a breakthrough campaign for the promising official, who has handled matches in the Europa League, a 2018 World Cup qualifier, a Champions League qualifier and numerous European youth games.
Closer to home, he’s been trusted with some key top-flight matches – including an Edinburgh derby debut in October, Rangers’ 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox in November and Hibernian’s 2-0 victory over the Dons in another significant contest in the battle to finish the best of the rest behind Celtic.
It is evident that the Scottish Football Association are fully behind Dallas, who is not afraid to give big decisions and generally stays calm under intense pressure – even on the big stage.
With Collum and Thomson out in front as Scotland’s leading officials, Dallas has some way to go to join the elite but the signs are there that he can at least be third in line for high-profile games on the domestic front and even go on to follow the footsteps of the pair – and his father before them – on the European and international scene.
He has already reaped the benefits of working closely with Collum, who he has regularly trained with, and being coached by fellow Fifa whistler Steven McLean.
“They’ve been fantastic in offering advice and encouragement and they’re always available for a chat about decisions and incidents from matches,” Dallas once said in an interview.
He got a bird’s eye view of Collum’s excellent display in Celtic’s 3-2 win over Rangers at Ibrox as the fourth official – a selective appointment made with careful consideration.
Selecting him to carry out electronic board duties undoubtedly had the near future in mind and suggests an Old Firm derby debut in the middle isn’t too far away, particularly as he’s the last of the seven Fifa referees to get a first taste of one of world football’s fiercest rivalries.
It could happen as early as next month in the Scottish Cup semi-final showdown at Hampden Park but it’s more likely to be a more experienced official in charge given the magnitude of the occasion.
Last May, former top-flight referee Charlie Richmond expressed his belief that Dallas is under more pressure to perform than some of his colleagues because of his father and still had plenty to prove.
This season has been one of real progress for Dallas, who has learned a lot and proven he’s not just a rookie and gaffe-prone referee but can handle matches at a high level.
He still has hurdles to climb over but, with age on his side and advice readily on hand in the form of his old man, he has the potential to be the cream of the crop – if fans and pundits alike can cut him some slack and let him develop.
POLL: Have your say about Andrew Dallas by casting your vote below…
From new faces and milestones to promotion bids and solid defences, here are six things to keep an eye on during the Scottish football weekend.
Following an extended period to recharge the batteries during the winter break, the Scottish football season is back in full swing once again.
There has already been plenty happening – from thrills and spills in the Scottish Cup to transfer dealings galore as managers look to boost their squads before next week’s deadline.
It’s already been a big start to the final weekend of action in January after St Mirren moved 11 points clear at the top of the Championship after beating fellow promotion challengers Dunfermline 2-1 at East End Park on Friday night.
Here are five more things to keep an eye on across the divisions…
TON UP FOR RODGERS
Records have been tumbling since Brendan Rodgers arrived at Parkhead and on Saturday the Celtic boss will reach a significant landmark as he takes charge of the champions for the 100th time in a competitive match.
The Northern Irishman will be desperate to mark the milestone with a victory but it promises to be a tough afternoon for the Scottish Premiership leaders against a Hibernian side who have found their feet back in the top-flight upon their return this season.
On his latest return to the East End of Glasgow, Neil Lennon will be desperate to spoil the occasion for his opposite number Rodgers, who has been very complimentary of the former Celtic player and manager this week by claiming he would be a good choice for the next Scotland boss.
Fourth-placed Hibs have already taken points off Celtic twice in the league this season in successive 2-2 draws and ran them close in the League Cup semi-final, so the Hoops will have to be at their best to give their manager a performance and result that he can be proud of as he reaches the century mark.
SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE AT TYNECASTLE
An intriguing contest is in prospect in Gorgie as Hearts and Motherwell, two of the in-form teams in the division, go head to head.
Both sides are adjacent in the top half of the table – sitting fifth and sixth respectively – and are yet to lose a game or concede a goal so far in 2018.
That could stay the same, of course, should the game end goalless but, the way the teams have been playing of late, a stalemate would be a long shot.
Craig Levein’s Jambos will be marginal favourites given their formidable run of late, as they look to extend their unbeaten league run to 11 games, and the fact they have won their last four home league matches against Motherwell without a conceding a goal.
Stephen Robinson’s Steelmen have begun the new year with back-to-back 2-0 victories at Fir Park and, despite missing some key players, will be confident of extending their good start in their first away trip of 2018 as they look to consolidate their place in the top six.
Winger Danny Amankwaa could make his Hearts debut and Kyle Lafferty is back from suspension, while Motherwell are without Alex Fisher – who drove all the way down to Yeovil on Friday to feature in the Glovers’ FA Cup tie against Manchester United – but Peter Hartley, whose announcement video was akin to that of United’s Alexis Sanchez revelation, is back from suspension having signed permamently from Blackpool this week.
NO MARGIN FOR ERROR FOR THE TERRORS
After St Mirren’s charge at the top continued with a crucial away win at promotion rivals Dunfermline on Friday night, it only served as a further reminder that Dundee United cannot afford any more slip-ups like the disastrous 6-1 defeat at struggling Falkirk recently in the race for promotion in the Championship.
Since that thumping on January 6, the Terrors have responded well by keeping successive clean sheets – including earning a hard-earned point at Dunfermline – in a bid to keep the pressure on St Mirren, who they lost to at the tail end of December.
Next up on Saturday afternoon is a home clash against a Greenock Morton side who sit seventh in the table, so three points at Tannadice is a must in the first of two games in hand on St Mirren as they look to respond to the Buddies’ fine result.
Former Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo has repeatedly emphasised that taking United back to where they feel they belong – in the Scottish Premiership – is his sole focus since replacing Ray McKinnon in November.
If they are to achieve that, even via the play-off route, consistency in all areas will be key between now and the end of the season and games like this weekend’s shouldn’t present any problems.
CAN AYR KEEP THE FIGHT GOING?
In Scottish League One, a fascinating battle is being played out at the top of the table in the race for the title between leaders Raith Rovers and second-placed Ayr United.
With just a point separating the sides, the Honest Men – who have played a game more but won the same number of matches (14) as Raith – make the trip to Hampden Park on Saturday to face a Queen’s Park side who are joint bottom of the 10-team pack with just 18 points from 22 games.
Apart from a disappointing home defeat to third-placed Arbroath, Ian McCall’s side have been going well and have the tantalising prospect of a visit from Rangers on the horizon in the Scottish Cup – should the Gers get past Fraserburgh in their re-arranged fourth-round tie.
Ayr managed to get a valuable point against Raith a fortnight ago in their last league outing and, with Gary Locke’s side expected to beat fifth-placed Alloa Athletic away from home elsewhere on Saturday, know they need to get back to winning ways in the league to sustain their excellent pursuit of top spot in what is sure to be an exciting second half of the season.
ODDS STACKED AGAINST THE BLUE BRAZIL
Propping up the entire SPFL, it’s been another largely unforgettable season so far for all the wrong reasons for Cowdenbeath.
Rooted to the foot of League Two with just one league win to their name, things are looking bleak for Gary Bollan’s men, who face the prospect of being demoted having avoided a third successive relegation by winning a play-off against Lowland League champions East Kilbride last season.
But, despite having just nine points on the board from 19 games, all hope is not lost just yet, with the gap between themselves and Edinburgh City just six points as it stands and Cowdenbeath have a game in hand on them.
The Fife club, who were playing in the Championship as recently as 2014/15, had lost successive games before last weekend’s game at Stenhousemuir fell foul of the weather so have had extra time to prepare for the visit of seventh-placed Berwick Rangers on Saturday.
Cowdenbeath know they need to start picking up points from somewhere in a collision course for survival which is looking increasingly like it won’t be successful and, if it can be this weekend, they might just give themselves a glimmer of hope in the face of adversity.
NEW FACES ON SHOW IN DINGWALL
Keen to make an impression, there is likely to be a number of players still getting used to new team-mates and new surroundings when Rangers travel to Ross County in Sunday’s televised Premiership encounter.
Greg Docherty should make his debut for Graeme Murty’s side at the Global Energy Arena, just two days after the midfielder’s move from top-flight rivals Hamilton Accies.
He became the fifth new arrival in January for the Glasgow giants, following Sean Goss, Jamie Murphy, Jason Cummings and Russell Martin through the gates at Ibrox.
After their Scottish Cup tie at Highland League side Fraserburgh was postponed last weekend, the Gers roared back into action following the winter break with another impressive victory over Aberdeen in midweek – with all four of this month’s acquisitions playing a part.
Despite having to put up with a host of absentees, Murty will be hoping his promising new-look side continues to gel as they seek to maintain some kind of pressure on runaway leaders Celtic, who have an 11-point lead heading into the weekend, by beating bottom-club Ross County.
The Staggies have been one of the busier teams in the transfer market, with Owen Coyle bringing in former Liverpool striker David N’Gog, who he worked with at Bolton, as well as midfielder Greg Tansey on loan from Aberdeen, Inih Effiong from Woking and defender Harry Souttar on loan from Stoke City.
Although Tansey is doubtful with an injury, the trio of Effiong, Souttar and N’Gog look to set to make their home debuts as the Dingwall club – who have been on the road for six of their last nine games – hope to pull off a shock by ending a 10-game winless run back on their own patch against the Old Firm side who seem to be on the rise again.
Craig Thomson will handle his 13th Old Firm derby while Kevin Clancy will referee his first domestic cup semi-final in this weekend’s Betfred Cup last-four ties at Hampden Park.
CRAIG Thomson and Kevin Clancy have been confirmed as the referees for this weekend’s Scottish League Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park.
Thomson will be in the middle for the Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic on Sunday (KO 14:05 BST).
Meanwhile, Clancy has been selected to officiate Premiership side Aberdeen against Championship outfit Greenock Morton on Saturday (KO 12:15 BST).
Both ties will be televised live on BT Sport.
The perennial Old Firm whistler…
It may be an unlucky number for some but Thomson will be hoping it will bring him some fortune as he prepares for his 13th Old Firm derby – no other referee has handled more than five.
His first derby came back in 2006 and he has since built up a wealth of experience in handling Scottish football’s most explosive duel in cup finals, crucial league encounters and, more recently, semi-final battles.
It will be the third season in a row the Fifa whistler, who went to Euro 2012, will manage a cup semi-final between the sides at the national stadium – after Celtic’s 2-0 League Cup win in 2015 and Rangers’ Scottish Cup win on penalties earlier this year.
David McGeachie and Alan Mulvanny will assist Thomson, with Steven McLean taking the fourth official reins.
It was widely expected McLean or Bobby Madden might be entrusted with their first Old Firm derbies as Thomson and Willie Collum – who oversaw his third when Celtic thrashed Rangers 5-1 last month – are the only officials among the current crop to have previously refereed the fixture.
But, with a place in November’s Betfred Cup Final at stake, they have called on the vastly experienced Thomson to make the decisions for the latest meeting of Glasgow’s biggest rivals.
The former lawyer, from Renfrewshire, oversaw the League Cup final meeting between the sides in 2011 – awarding Rangers a penalty before reversing his decision and sending off Celtic’s Emilio Izaguirre in an eventual 2-1 win for the Ibrox side.
Earlier this season, he was involved in a bitter spat with pundit Chris Sutton, who called him a ‘bottler’ after opting not to send off Rangers midfielder Harry Forrester for a second bookable offence in their 2-1 win at Dundee.
He was also an additional assistant referee in the 2014 Scottish Cup Final at Celtic Park and Rangers’ Scottish Cup semi win over Celtic on penalties, as well as European games such as the 2015 Uefa Super Cup.
Clancy first took up the whistle in 2000 and was admitted to the Scottish FA five years later before overseeing his first SPL match in 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.
Among Clancy’s other high-profile appointments was the Championship play-off semi first leg between Hamilton Accies and Falkirk in 2014 and Queen’s Park’s League One play-off second leg win over Clyde last term.
At Hampden, he will be assisted by Alastair Mather and Gordon Crawford, while Euan Anderson will be on electronic board duties as fourth official.
Like Celtic, the Motherwell-based whistler is on European duty in midweek having been assigned to referee the Europa League third qualifying round second leg between Hadjuk Split and FC Olexandryia.
He has awarded one penalty in each of his four games so far this season – three of which were in the Betfred Cup, including Rangers’ 3-0 win over Stranraer at Ibrox.
Beaton – who is still a part-time communications officer at the University of Strathclyde – was the referee for Celtic’s 1-1 draw with Leicester in the International Champions Cup at Parkhead a fortnight ago.
Aside from the League Cup tie, he encountered Hearts on four other occasions last season – twice in the Premiership against Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock at Tynecastle, and twice in the Scottish Cup against Aberdeen and Hibernian.
A Category One official since 2009, Beaton has established himself as a regular in the Premiership since his first game in 2012 and is one of seven Scottish referees on Fifa’s international list.
He has officiated the 2015 Ramsdens Cup Final, two League Cup semi-finals, two Scottish Cup semis including one last season, and been an additional assistant referee for two Scottish Cup Finals.
Nick Walsh will take charge of the Premiership opener between Partick Thistle and Inverness Caley Thistle at Firhill on Saturday (KO 15:00 BST).
The 30-year-old from Stirling, who was promoted to Category One over the summer, is only in his fourth season as a senior official.
He will be assisted by Andrew McWilliam and Graham McNellie, while Mat Northcroft will be the fourth official.
Walsh has dished out 13 yellow cards and awarded two penalties in four League Cup games so far – Queen of the South’s 2-0 victory over Airdrieonians, Motherwell’s 3-1 victory at Annan, and Peterhead’s surprise 2-1 win against Dundee.
He was also called up as a late replacement for Willie Collum for Ayr United’s opening 2-1 success over Hamilton Accies.
Kevin Clancy will be the man in the middle for the Championship’s standout opening match between Falkirk and Hibernian on Saturday (KO 15:00 BST).
The 32-year-old has been assigned to the opening weekend game between two expected promotion hopefuls at the Falkirk Stadium as Neil Lennon prepares to take charge of his first league game as Hibs manager.
Clancy – who will be assisted by Alastair Mather and Daniel McFarlane – has received more responsibility in the last 18 months having overseen a number of high-profile games such as Edinburgh and Dundee derbies, and last season’s Scottish League Cup Final.
The Renfrewshire-based whistler has handled a Champions League qualifier, Europa League game and three League Cup matches so far this season.
Glasgow-born Clancy – who has been a Category One official since 2009 – took charge of Hibs’ 1-1 draw with Falkirk at Easter Road last December, among 10 Championship games in 2015-16.
He has also been appointed to referee the televised League Cup second round tie between Premiership sides Celtic and Motherwell at Parkhead on Wednesday night.
With one of the most unpredictable seasons in years in store, guessing the final outcome across England, Scotland and Spain has proved difficult.
AFTER the briefest of breaks following the unexpected climax at Euro 2016, football makes a welcome comeback as the new domestic campaign begins in earnest.
2016-17 promises to be more dramatic, exciting and entertaining than seasons gone by with new managers, players and teams settling into their fresh surroundings and hoping to make an impact.
From Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford to Burton Albion’s Championship debut, there are many intriguing sub-plots which could present more shocks and surprises – such as Leicester City’s stunning Premier League title triumph as relegation favourites last term.
Such is the uncertainty of how clubs will fare amid the hive of summer activity, unrivalled spending and the fall-out from last season’s outcomes, predicting the precise outcomes in the promotion, play-off and relegation pictures in all leagues is an incredibly tough task.
Here’s my rough guess on what the final standings might look like across the main divisions in England, Scotland and Spain when May eventually comes around…
The experienced Ayrshire official will take charge of the televised Group C game at Tannadice.
JOHN McKendrick has been confirmed as the referee for Sunday’s televised Scottish League Cup encounter between Dundee United and Dunfermline Athletic.
The 47-year-old will be in charge when the two Championship sides meet at Tannadice in Group C on July 31 (KO 15:00 BST, live on BT Sport).
He will be assisted by Stephen Mitchell and John McCrossan, with Stephen Finnie the fourth official.
It’s McKendrick’s third game in the competition of the season after overseeing Morton’s 1-0 win against Clyde on July 19 and Raith Rovers’ penalty shoot-out success over holders Ross County four days later.
He has brandished six yellow cards and awarded one spotkick so far but is yet to send a player off – and hasn’t issued a red card since Rangers’ 4-0 win at Stenhousemuir in April 2014.
Taking up the whistle in 1994, the father-of-three from Ayrshire has been a Category One referee since 2005 – five years after being admitted to the Scottish FA.
McKendrick attracted criticism last season, awarding Rangers a controversial free-kick which led to the decisive goal in their 3-1 win over Falkirk last October.
He was branded ‘a sh**bag’ by Bairns boss Peter Houston – who was subsequently reported to the SFA by McKendrick – and first-team coach Alan Maybury accepted a one-match ban for ‘abusive and insulting language’ after the final whistle at Ibrox.