In a bizarre twist of fate, Scottish football referee Willie Collum has thrown his hat into the ring for the Rangers job. Jack Thomson speaks exclusively to the man who could be the next Rangers gaffer.
This latest development comes at a time when Stuart McCall’s future at the Ibrox helm remains in doubt.
The Rangers hierarchy are said to have drawn up a shortlist of candidates who they believe are capable of going toe-to-toe with Scottish Championship season 2015/16 title challengers Hibernian.
The shortlist has a number of impressive names on it; Mark Warburton, Ian Cathro and Alex McLeish to name a few but Collum believes he has the necessary credentials.
He remarked: “For a number of years, I have shown I have the temperament to remain calm in high pressure environments. That is an essential characteristic for the man tasked with leading Cove Rangers from the Highland Football League.”
After being reassured that it was not Cove Rangers’ boss John Sheran’s position that was up for debate, but Stuart McCall’s, Collum went on to say: “Of course, I’m interested in that particular Rangers too. They have developed a wonderful sense of tradition and history in such a short period of time since their formation in 2012.”
When it was suggested that the transition of refereeing to management was not the most common route in football, Collum was quick to remind us of the similar skills required in both.
He added: “You know people will say that it’s a strange step to make, but the way I see it is refereeing and management are both about making the right decisions. I don’t seem to be able to do that in officiating so perhaps I’ll be better at it in management.”
The referee from Glasgow has handed out his fair share of red cards in his career, and when asked whether this is something he would miss, Collum replied: “I don’t think I would have to miss it. Every day there would be opportunities to hand out red cards. My priorities as the Rangers boss would be to red card Ricky Foster for being so bad at football that he has to give his testosterone a boost by snaking Stevie Lovell’s ex. Then there’s Kris Boyd. If he doesn’t ditch the monster munch and get into shape, he’ll be due a sending off as well.”
Collum believes that his background in education will also prove valuable, stating: “I saw the performance against Motherwell. I don’t think Stuart McCall realised that you’re allowed to start with 11 players on the field. The first 11 plus Ricky Foster (at the value of negative 1) equals 10, right? It’s common sense.”
The referee is actually a religious education teacher by trade at a Roman Catholic high school in Bellshill. He believes that this will have an impact in the running of the club, “Well football is a religion in itself and what the Rangers need right now is a prayer. If we can all club together and send our petitions to the skies then we might just be able to make it back into the Scottish Premiership in approximately four decades time.”
When asked why it would take so long, Collum replied: “Well it took Moses forty years in the wilderness right?”