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Willie Collum appointed new SFA referee chief as official prepares to hang up his whistle

Willie Collum has been appointed as as the SFA’s new Head of Refereeing after an “extensive recruitment” process as the experienced official replaces the outgoing Crawford Allan.

Category One referee Collum - who took charge of Saturday's Old Firm game - starts his new Hampden role in July as he hangs up his whistle after almost 30 years as a referee. The SFA hired recruitment experts Elevate Talent to find the best man for the job and opted to hire from within the system after speculation of appointing an overseas candidate. The SFA said “Willie’s experience, leadership responsibilities within the Scottish education system, understanding of the Scottish football landscape and resilience made him the outstanding candidate.”

Collum has officiated at Euro 2016, the 2015 Super Cup, taken charge of four Scottish Cup finals, two League Cup finals, and in over 250 FIFA and UEFA club and international competitions including the Champions League and Europa League, World Cup and European Qualifiers.

The 45-year-old believes the time is right to help current and future referees maximise their potential. He said: “I am proud and honoured to be appointed the Scottish FA’s Head of Refereeing. It’s well-known that I took up refereeing at the age of 14 and today’s announcement is the culmination of some of the greatest experiences of my career.

“It’s my strong view that the role of Head of Refereeing is responsible to all of Scottish football, not just the association, as I am fully aware of the passion and expectations from clubs, players, supporters and match officials themselves.

“I wouldn’t have achieved half of what I have as a referee without the support of my colleagues and team-mates within refereeing and my immediate priority