It’s fair to say that Rangers weren’t too happy with Willie Collum after the last Old Firm game he was involved in.

Collum was the fourth official for the 2-1 defeat at Celtic Park with a Kyogo double enough for the home side on that day. James Tavernier scored late on for Rangers while Leon Balogun was sent off.

But it was controversy in the first half that caused the issues when Rangers were denied what they felt was a stonewall penalty.

Alistair Johnston appeared to handle the ball inside the box and Rangers felt Nick Walsh should have been sent to the monitor to look at the incident.

Collum decided that it wasn’t enough though and no further action was taken, while an image then came out later in the game to show that it was potentially offside in the build-up and used that as a reason to not award the spot kick.

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Rangers released a statement criticising the decision and said: “Despite repeated Rangers FC requests, the Scottish FA have so far failed to disclose the VAR audio to allow the club to understand the process around the non-award of a penalty in the first half of yesterday’s Old Firm match.

“Rangers officials stand ready to meet in-person or virtually with the Scottish FA at any time to hear and discuss the audio. However, the Scottish FA are refusing to both share the VAR audio and meet until at least Wednesday, five days after the Old Firm match and after the next round of Scottish Premiership fixtures. This is clearly unacceptable and heightens Rangers’ concerns over the lack of transparency, for which the need is urgent.

“Rangers have learned no penalty was awarded as the VAR official, Willie Collum, concluded a handball offence had not occurred in the first half. While the club and most observers are astonished by this 'professional' view, we remain perplexed and concerned about the Scottish FA's motivations for sharing an offside image with broadcasters during the second half, when this was not the original reason why the penalty was not awarded. 

“England’s Premier League and other leading European Leagues operate on a ‘nothing to hide’ basis, where open communication and full transparency are available to clubs and the public on contentious VAR calls in a timely manner. 

“On a weekend where not only Rangers but also fellow Scottish FA member clubs have major questions over potentially match-changing incidents, our governing body would do well to heed that same mantra."

The Ibrox side also made a request to the SFA that Collum wouldn’t referee their games moving forward, but that was ignored with the whistler soon being put in charge of the Scottish Cup game against Ayr United.

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The SFA responded by saying: "The Scottish FA is disappointed by contents of the most recent statement issued by Rangers in relation to a match incident during the club’s recent Premiership fixture against Celtic.

"Chief Executive James Bisgrove and Director of Football Operations Creag Robertson attended a private briefing with the Head of Referee Operations, Crawford Allan, to review the incident in question, including the use of matchday audio. We understood from the chief executive that the meeting had been constructive and informative, and conducted amicably. This does not appear to be reflected in the club’s statement.

"During the meeting, it was pointed out that the incident in question was a subjective handball and that the VAR did not deem it a sufficiently clear and obvious error to refer to On Field Review. Furthermore, the offside would not have been mentioned at the time as it was not part of the VAR’s decision-making on the handball. It was highlighted within Clydesdale House that had the VAR considered the incident to be a handball offence and asked the referee to carry out an On Field Review, the Attacking Phase of Play would have been checked and an offside would have been identified.

"This supplementary information was relayed to broadcasters in-game, and we are reviewing the process of information dissemination to avoid any perceived ambiguity in future.

"There was an overall consensus that the incident could not have led to a penalty kick being awarded in any event, and that there was no impact on the final outcome of the match.

"Scotland’s VAR protocol is in many ways modelled on the PGMOL system, and we are in regular dialogue with our colleagues in England on knowledge sharing and improvements. VAR has been operational in Scotland for just over a year, whilst it has been operational in England for more than four.

"Since the summer, we have ensured that Key Match Incidents are reviewed and shared with all clubs after every full round of 11 Premiership fixtures, including use of audio. We will continue to do this, along with KMI being shared with the Independent Review Panel for their consideration and opinion.

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"Finally, we note posts from a recent official media partner of the club’s detailing requests from the private meeting that were immediately rejected. We would ask that club representatives show greater responsibility in such matters, especially in the context of recent incidents in European football that have compromised the safety of match officials and led to widespread condemnation.”

Collum was then appointed for the game against Ayr which brought the controversy back up but Philippe Clement had insisted he wasn’t involved in the discussions and would quit if he thought a referee wasn’t neutral.

Now the whistler has been appointed to take charge of this weekend’s game between the Old Firm at Celtic Park and it’s the first league game he has done involving Rangers since the controversy in December.