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Who will referee the next Glasgow Derby?

The SFA are just over three weeks away from announcing the officials for the next Glasgow Derby, at Ibrox on April 7.

There is a small rota of officials trusted with taking charge of that fixture which includes John Beaton and Willie Collum who have recently been put in the spotlight, one has been backed and supported by the SFA while the other has been hung out to dry.

There could still be three Glasgow Derby matches to be played this season, if Collum and Beaton are ruled out it puts greater onus on those selected with the VAR official carrying almost as much influence as the man on the pitch.

With Crawford Allan limiting himself to one staged interview a year and SFA Chief Ian Maxwell in a near permanent state of hiding the standard of refereeing and accountability is at an all-time low.


Without doubt the current go-to official for this fixture, taking charge of the most recent match at Celtic Park and two of last season’s six Derby matches including the League Cup Final at Hampden in February.

Walsh is believed to have been a childhood Celtic fan but after taking his career as a schoolteacher to Boclair Academy in Bearsden, the partner school for the Murray Park starlets, his refereeing career has gone from strength to strength.

He got his first taste of the fixture during the Lockdown season, since then Celtic have won the three Glasgow Derbies matches that he has been in charge of despite some clear attempts at levelling up.

At the start of last season he kept the penalty run going when he ignored Ryan Kent raking his studs down Liel Abada’s calf but Celtic were still a cut above their opponents and ran out 4-0 victors.

In the last Derby match he was involved in a strange incident when James Tavernier chopped David Turnbull 12 yards from goal. Walsh decided to go with a wrong offside call from an assistant, Willie Collum on VAR opted out of doing his job.

It is unknown for a referee to be put in charge of successive Derby matches but he seems certain to get another go at the fixture this season.


Took charge of the September match at Ibrox earlier this season and upset the natives by disallowing a ‘goal’ for the homeside after a VAR check confirmed that Cyriel Dessers ad fouled Gus Lagerbielke in the build up.

That decision created a week of outrage to deflect from another dreadful performance by Micky Beale’s side with Celtic finishing up with a back four of Tony Ralston, Liam Scales, Lagerbielke and Alexandro Bernabei. Brendan Rodgers was back in charge of the fixture in what turned out to be Beale’s last Glasgow Derby.

Last weekend at Tynecastle Robertson demonstrated that he was back on message by agreeing with John Beaton’s two VAR requests, one to send off Yang Hyun-jun and the other to award a ridiculous penalty against Tomoki Iwata, two game changing decisions within 30 minutes.

Robertson is believed to have been a Celtic fan in his younger days but those notions have been kicked into the long grass in order to climb the greasy pole of Scottish refereeing, he first came to prominence for Celtic fans in April 2016 when he awarded Ross County a penalty against the hoops for an outrageous dive by Alex Schalk. Later in that match he sent off Scott Brown although that decision was successfully appealed.

Robertson has refereed two Glasgow Derbies in the last 12 months, a third seems unlikely.


Has only refereed two Glasgow Derbies, seven years apart but after his performance in Sunday’s Scottish Cup tie at Easter Road he must be a very strong contender for next month’s Ibrox fixture.

A decade ago he was the rising star on the refereeing circuit, cemented by his outrageous handling of the 2015 Scottish Cup semi-final between Celtic and Inverness Caley Thistle. A typically half hearted Celtic statement requesting clarification was completely ignored, McLean got the 2016 Scottish Cup Final but after handling the first ever SPFL Derby at Ibrox in December 2016 he seemed to be overtaken by Bobby Madden.

After a very long wait he was put in charge of last season’s post split Dead Rubber fixture which put him back in the spotlight for the match that all referees dream of influencing.

His brother is a former Murray Park starlet.



Appears to have slipped quietly out of favour after being in charge of Celtic’s 3-2 SPFL win last April which put the hoops 12 points clear at the top of the SPFL Premiership, the first SPFL defeat for Micky Beale.

Clancy clearly blew for a free kick against Alfredo Morelos before the Colombian ‘scored’ from a corner, afterwards he was subjected to the full force of the Ibrox media machine with David Edgar not beating about the bush as called the referee a Cheating Bas***d, Heart & Hand sponsored Nico Raskin and has full access to Ibrox media facilities.

Celtic had lost the three Derby matches that Clancy had previously refereed but that cut no ice with the Gullible & Deluded who refer to him as Father Clancy. He has only refereed two Celtic matches this season which suggests that he is quietly being sidelined by the SFA, in January 2022 he was the subject of a leaked letter to the SFA after a 1-1 draw at Aberdeen that saw the home side awarded a penalty and Ryan Kent sent off.


Last took charge of the fixture in January 2023, the first with VAR available and seemed certain to get the April fixture until he went the extra mile with his recent VAR display at Tynecastle.

Since then social media has been awash with video clips of his inconsistencies, it seems that virtually every club in the country except one has suffered from decisions made by the regular from the Crown Bar in Bellshill.

The January 2023 match hinged on two penalty decisions, no one was surprised by the way that they went with Fashion Sakala diving in to Carl Starfelt to earn one that he celebrated with fans, soon after at the other end of the pitch Connor Goldson escaped unpunished from using both hands to bat away a shot from Starfelt.

Ten days before the Ibrox clash Brendan Rodgers faces his Notice of Complaint in front of the SFA. If as expected a lengthy charge sheet against Beaton’s ‘inconsistencies’ is produced it will be very awkward for the SFA to the then put him in charge of the next showcase fixture.


We have to go back to April 2022 for the last time Collum refereed the Derby match, last April he was due to control the Scottish Cup semi-final but git injured in the warm up putting Don Robertson in the spotlight.

After being on VAR for the December match he was the subject of a vicious campaign from Ibrox ‘sources’ through their media messengers culminating in the request that he isn’t involved in any future fixtures involving their club.

Shamefully the SFA sat back allowing that campaign to develop, no Notice of Complaint was served on James Bisgrove or John Bennet with Collum excluded from refereeing, Fourth Official and VAR duties for the last 11 SPFL matches.

In a move that was easy to predict Collum was put in charge of last month’s Scottish Cup tie at home to Ayr United.

He is an unlikely choice for the April match but going by his performance in the match against Ayr United he appears to be fully on message and could yet be trusted with the next Derby match.

CLICK HERE for Kuhn’s appearances this season.

CLICK HERE for Shinnie hits out as Beaton suspends him from Scottish Cup semi-final.

CLICK HERE for the full SFA charge again Rodgers.


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