Clement classily handles Collum’s Rangers debacle

Clement classily handles Collum’s Rangers debacle
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 28: Referee Willie Collum looks at a monitor as they watch a VAR Review during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Rangers FC and St. Johnstone FC at Ibrox Stadium on January 28, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Philippe Clement is bang on over Willie Collum. The man who Rangers officially requested did not ever officiate as an official in an official officiating capacity… will officiate officially this afternoon.

And that’s official.

All joking aside, Clement’s response to the veto by the SFA where the governing body ignored Rangers’ request and has restored Collum to Rangers duties is terrific and as canny a reply as we’ve seen.

He said:

“I’m happy (to have Collum), to be honest. We can leave this story behind us. When there’s one moment I think a referee isn’t neutral I would quit my job – so I’m happy we can leave the past behind. For me there was a fault made, it was a clear handball but I’m also not without fault. I make fault every day probably. I don’t look at people and if they make a mistake they are dead for life or something. No, this is a new game, new situation. It’s important not to live in the past. I don’t want my players also to be living in the past about the last few weeks or months. It’s about next game and performing there. And if we make mistakes, you expect to get new chances to prove that you’ve become better. I’m in that way into life.”

Such a wise response.

We all know Collum covered up what he did, we all know there was… shall we say… more than a mistake made here, but sitting in the past and whining about it won’t make any difference to the fact.

Collum takes charge and Clement, who handles referees and the issues surrounding them very well indeed, wisely offered the man a fair reprieve, because having some kind of a grudge against ‘today’s referee’ is extremely unwise.

Clement knows the match is in Collum’s hands and wisely he’s giving the referee support, not hanging him out to dry.

Whatever Rangers’ manager thinks exactly of Collum privately is another matter, but publicly he’s doing the sensible thing and giving Collum his backing.

We will say this – at no point have Ibrox Noise ever accused any Scottish referee of being biased. Only of incompetence. Regardless of any allegiances some referees may or may not have in the game, generally it’s our belief they do their job fairly.

But when mistakes go against Rangers it’s ‘f*ck the SFA’. When they go against Celtic, their fans sing ‘f*ck the SFA’.

It’s part of the game.

Clement is wise to show fairness and support.

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