Steve Clarke: Willie Collum's Old Firm date affected Gary Dicker appeal
Kilmarnock midfielder Gary Dicker's red-card appeal was rejected because referee Willie Collum will take charge of Sunday's Old Firm game, manager Steve Clarke has claimed.
Clarke was confident of overturning Collum's decision to dismiss midfielder Dicker for his challenge on Hearts' Callumn Morrison last week.
However, an independent tribunal upheld the "serious foul play" charge.
Manager Clarke said "small clubs like Kilmarnock may be fair game".
Reading a prepared statement, he added the that "perception of most and certainly of our club is that the hearing was pre-judged by this early appointment".
Collum's appointment for Rangers' trip to face Celtic was confirmed on Tuesday, with Dicker's hearing the following day.
The 32-year-old will now miss away games against Aberdeen and Hibernian.
The Scottish FA has been contacted for a response to Clarke's statement.
How does the process work?
If SPFL clubs decide to appeal a decision for serious foul play, they must prove that an obvious referring error has been made.
They have until 13:00 on the first working day after the match to lodge their intention to appeal, with their case needing to be submitted by 17:00 the next day.
The player or any other personnel cannot attend the hearings, which will be a video conference between a tribunal of trained, independent judicial panel members.
As of this season, the compliance officer plays no part in the proceedings.
'What would the panel's motivation be?' - analysis
Sportscene presenter Jonathan Sutherland
The fact the ruling was upheld suggests the panel felt the player did not demonstrate an obvious error had been made. So this is a big statement from Steve Clarke.
The judicial panel that ruled on the Dicker appeal - as with all cases like this - is independent of the Scottish FA. It's also a process backed by all the clubs.
So why would those three individuals on the independent panel take into account Willie Collum's next match as part of their ruling on Dicker's red card?
That might be a tough one to justify.
Clarke's statement in full
"I have to say that I'm disappointed but not surprised by the decision of the confidential panel, who chose to ignore our appeal and back the referee's original decision.
"An appeal process that excludes the people involved - namely the player, the referee and officials of the appealing club from putting forward their case face to face with the adjudicating panel - will sometimes be open to strange and inconsistent outcomes. This panel will usually be made up of three people and will, in all probability, include no former players, coaches or managers who understand football and the decisions that are made within a game.
"My belief and that of the majority of people with a good knowledge of football would say that Gary Dicker's tackle was a genuine effort to win the ball without malice or recklessness and with minimal contact on an opponent who proceeded to roll around as if seriously hurt only to get straight back to his feet on the issue of the red card.
"The period of time between the tackle and red card decision was ridiculously short and lacked a calm and rational approach from such an experienced official.
"I don't want, or need to, go through recent instances where red cards have been rescinded or downgraded on appeal or where violent conduct on the field of play has been overlooked by officials because they are there for everyone to see. Maybe smaller clubs like ourselves are fair game.
"However, as I said at the start, I'm in no way surprised at the outcome of our appeal. As soon as I heard the news, very early in the week, that the referee in question had been appointed to take charge of the first Old Firm match of the season before our hearing had taken place I, and many other people, knew that the decision would go against Kilmarnock. There is no doubt that the perception of most and certainly of our club is that the hearing was pre-judged by this early appointment.
"To finish I would like to reiterate my support for Scottish referees and believe that I have been a big voice in backing and supporting these sometimes maligned figures and despite issues like this one, they will continue to have my full respect and support."