Scottish Premiership: Willie Collum to referee Motherwell v Rangers

Willie Collum will take charge of Saturday’s lunchtime encounter at Fir Park, with Bobby Madden appointed to Celtic’s televised match against Hearts on Sunday.

Solid: Collum issued just one yellow card and was on top of proceedings during Celtic’s 3-0 Scottish Cup win at Albion Rovers last weekend (Picture from Sky Sports)

WILLIE Collum will be the referee for Rangers’ televised Scottish Premiership match at Motherwell on Saturday.

The Euro 2016 official, who turned 38 last week, will be in the middle as the Gers make the trip to Fir Park for the lunchtime game live on Sky Sports (KO 12:45 GMT).

He will be assisted by David McGeachie and Gordon Crawford, with Euan Anderson on fourth official duties.

Collum – who won’t have far to travel from his Lanarkshire residence – will oversee his 29th game of the season in all competitions.

He has so far brandished 90 yellow cards, sent off five players and awarded nine penalties.

The Religious Education teacher will have no excuse for taking his eye off the ball after visiting a Specsavers store this week, in recognition of the partnership the opticians share with the Scottish FA.

It will be a 13th top-flight match of the campaign for Collum, who has handled a League Cup Final, two Scottish Cup Finals and the 2015 Uefa Super Cup.

The Glasgow-born whistler will control his fourth Rangers game of the campaign – and first of 2017 – after sending off Philippe Senderos in their 5-1 Old Firm derby defeat at Celtic in September before 1-0 victories at Inverness in October and home to Dundee in November.

Meanwhile, Collum will be in the middle for a third Motherwell match of 2016-17 after their 4-2 derby win over Hamilton in September – in which he awarded the Steelmen a spotkick – and 1-1 draw at St Johnstone last month.

It will be the third time he takes charge of a fixture involving the two sides – after Rangers’ 2-1 win in a League Cup semi-final at Hampden in 2011 and a goalless draw at Ibrox in the league in 2012, both of which passed without major incident.

Mark Warburton’s second-placed Rangers will be looking to extend the gap over Aberdeen in third, which currently stands at two points, while Mark McGhee’s Motherwell could move into the top six with a first top-flight win over the Gers since December 2002.

The sides met as recently as last weekend as Kenny Miller scored twice for Rangers, who came from behind to beat the Steelmen in their Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Ibrox.

Madden gets another top-flight test

Bobby Madden in action
Well-known: Madden has established himself as a referee domestically in the Scottish top-flight and on the European stage in the Europa League (Picture from Sky Sports)

Bobby Madden will take charge of Celtic’s televised encounter with Hearts on Sunday.

The 38-year-old will be in the middle when the champions host the Jambos at Parkhead in front of the Sky cameras (KO 13:00 GMT).

His assistants will be Graham Chambers and Stephen Mitchell, while Greg Aitken will be on fourth official duties.

Madden was also in the middle for a 3-1 Celtic win over Hearts last season in his only other experience of a fixture between the sides.

He enjoyed a largely quiet display but booked six players and sent off Hearts defender Juwon Oshaniwa late on for a second yellow card.

It will only be the 18th game Madden will have officiated this season, after missing two months as he bravely battled thyroid cancer.

Overall, he has dished out 48 yellow cards, two red cards and pointed to the penalty spot 11 times in his 17 matches so far.

The East Kilbride whistler, who was an additional assistant referee at Euro 2016, will handle his third Celtic game of the campaign after their 4-1 win over 10-man Aberdeen in August and 2-1 success against Dundee in December – both also at Celtic Park.

His only Hearts match so far was their 3-0 victory over Motherwell at Tynecastle in November – in which only two players were cautioned.

Madden’s biggest career honour to date came in Celtic’s 2-0 win over 10-man Dundee United in the 2015 League Cup showpiece at Hampden Park.

Both sides were in action in midweek – with Hearts beating Raith Rovers 4-2 after extra time in a Scottish Cup replay, while Celtic edged past St Johnstone 1-0 in their game in hand in the league.

You can see the rest of the SPFL appointments for this weekend here.

Irn Bru Cup first round: Greg Aitken among appointed referees

Aitken is the only Category One referee selected during the first round of the revamped Challenge Cup.

Greg Aitken referee (Airdrie v Forfar - 15th February 2015)
Established: Former fireman Aitken has been officiating in the Scottish Premiership since November 2014 (Picture from BBC ALBA)

GREG Aitken is the only Category One referee involved in the first round of the newly-named Irn Bru Cup. 

The 39-year-old from Renfrewshire will take charge of newly-promoted League One side Queen’s Park against Kilmarnock Colts at Hampden Park.

Elsewhere, Graham Beaton – who is no relation to fellow Scottish referee John – will oversee the derby between Highland League team Formartine United and Aberdeen Colts.

Lowland League outfit East Stirlingshire against League Two Montrose at Ochilview will be officiated by Craig Napier.

The 23-year-old doctor from Glasgow, who is a Category One development official, oversaw last season’s Lowland League Cup Final between Gretna and East Kilbride.

Mike Roncone will handle Aberdeen-based Highland League side Cove Rangers against Dundee Colts at Forfar’s Station Park.

The Category One development whistler, from Angus, regularly officiates in the SPFL’s fourth tier.

Glasgow’s Steven Reid will be the man in the middle for Heart of Midlothian Colts’ trip to League Two Stirling Albion.

David Dickinson takes charge of the only televised tie of the round between Celtic Colts and League Two Annan Athletic at Morton’s Cappielow – live on Premier Sports.

The Category Two referee from Renfrewshire – who first took up the whistle in 2006 – will be assisted by Kevin McElhinney and Tony Fullerton, with Garry Doherty on fourth official duties.

Meanwhile, Kilmaurs-based Aitken has been a Category One referee since 2011 having first taken up refereeing in 2002.

Beaton, 33, has officiated all three major finals in Highland League football and was promoted during the summer to Category One development status.

The Kemnay-based referee, who is a document controller in the oil and gas industry, also refereed last season’s Scottish Junior Cup Final between Beith and Pollok at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park.

Soft drinks company Irn Bru are the new sponsors for the Challenge Cup, with 54 teams involved from the start – including four clubs from outside the SPFL, two from Northern Ireland and two from Wales.

‘Colts’ are the name adopted by the 12 Scottish Premiership Under 20’s teams for the competition.

All ties are taking place on Tuesday, August 2, with the exception of Cumbernauld Colts against Hamilton Academical Colts – which will be played the following day.

Rangers are the current holders after thrashing Peterhead 4-0 in last season’s final at Hampden Park.

Click here for a full list of first round match official appointments

Referee Aitken receives Scottish Premiership call

37-year-old Renfrewshire referee Greg Aitken will take charge of his first Scottish Premiership game on Saturday when Kilmarnock host Dundee at Rugby Park.

Greg Aitken referee
First time: Aitken will make his Scottish Premiership debut at Rugby Park (Picture courtesy of Scottish FA)

SCOTTISH referee Greg Aitken will take charge of his first match in the Premiership this weekend.

The 37-year-old former fireman will be in the middle for Kilmarnock’s clash with newly-promoted Dundee at Rugby Park on Saturday.

With no official confirmation of promotion to the top-flight, it appears this is a one-off trial game for the Renfrewshire whistler, who is normally found in the three tiers below.

His last game was Hibernian’s televised 4-0 win at Livingston in the Championship a fortnight ago, having been the fourth official for Partick Thistle’s goalless draw with St Johnstone in the Premiership last weekend.

Aitken – a Category One official since May 2011 having first took up refereeing in 2002 – has been touted for inclusion on the Premiership list for a while after impressing in the lower divisions.

Andrew Dallas and Don Robertson made the step up at the start of the current season to compensate for the retirements of Iain Brines and Stevie O’Reilly.

Aitken has produced more red cards than any other Scottish referee this term – seven in 10 games in all competitions – and brandished an average of almost three yellow cards per match.

The ICT Operations manager, who was the fourth official for last season’s Ramsdens Cup Final, has overseen several games involving Rangers since their demotion to the fourth tier at the start of the 2012-13 campaign.

He will be assisted by linesmen Gordon Crawford and Willie Conquer and fourth official Steven McLean in east Ayrshire while observer Eddie Smith will be keeping a watchful eye over his performance from the stands.

Kevin Clancy to officiate 2014 Ramsdens Cup Final

Kevin Clancy will be the man in the middle for the 2014 Ramsdens Cup Final between Raith Rovers and Rangers at Easter Road next month.

Kevin Clancy watches on (Stranraer v Dundee Utd - 8th Feb 2015)
International: Clancy became a Fifa referee in January 2012 (Picture from Sky Sports)

REFEREE Kevin Clancy will take charge of the 2014 Ramsdens Cup Final between Raith Rovers and Rangers, the SFA have confirmed.

The 30-year-old has been appointed to oversee the showpiece on Sunday, April 6, at Hibernian’s Easter Road stadium.

Stephen Mitchell and Joseph Lawson will be the assistant referees, with Greg Aitken named as the fourth official.

Clancy was admitted to the Scottish FA list of referees in June 2005 and became a Category One official four years later.

He officiated League One champions Rangers’ 2-0 win over nearest challengers Dunfermline at Ibrox earlier this month, sending off Pars defender Danny Grainger in the second half.

The Renfrewshire-based whistler attracted criticism for his handling of a Scottish League Cup quarter-final between Inverness and Dundee United earlier this term when brandishing 13 yellow cards and sending off Nadir Ciftci for allegedly grabbing the throat of linesman Gavin Harris.

Clancy, who was the fourth official for last season’s League Cup final at Hampden Park, has never been the man in the middle for a national final before.

His stature has grown significantly this term, receiving 13 Scottish Premiership appointments and last-eight ties in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup.

Clancy has refereed 29 games in all competitions this season, brandishing 140 yellows and two red cards and awarding seven penalties.

Championship side Raith beat Annan Athletic 3-0 in the Ramsdens Cup semi-finals under Clancy’s stewardship back in October while the Light Blues progressed to the final with a cagey 1-0 win over Stenhousemuir.

Queen of the South lifted the Challenge Cup last year following a penalty shoot-out victory over Partick Thistle at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium.

Rovers supporters will be housed in the Famous Five Stand with an initial allocation of 3,500 for their first final in 20 years with Rangers fans expected to fill the rest of the 20,000 available seats.

The 16:05 kick-off will be screened live on BBC ALBA.