TOM “Tiny” Wharton, the late, great Scottish referee, once told me that whenever he took charge of an Old Firm game his religion would, in the eyes of the fans at least, change every time he ran up the park.

Reporting on the match between Celtic and Rangers is not an entirely dissimilar experience.

It you pen something complimentary about the Parkhead club, followers of their age-old Ibrox adversaries will immediately accuse you of being biased towards them and claim you have an agenda against their heroes. And vice versa.

The slightest perceived slight is pounced on. I once took a call from an irate reader (there is never any other kind when you work in sport) one Monday morning who was furious that there were more colour photographs of Rangers than Celtic in that day’s paper.

When the perfectly innocent reason for the disparity was explained to him – there were more black and white pictures of the Saturday game than the Sunday one due to its position further back in the sports section – he was not placated.

“That’s garbage,” he replied. “In the last month you’ve had 27 colour photographs of Rangers on a Monday and you’ve only had 22 of Celtic.” What a way to spend your free time! Paranoid much?

On another occasion, an incensed punter phoned up and demanded to speak to the editor so he could make a complaint about the Celtic crest being positioned above the Rangers crest on the front page masthead. They were trailing their city rivals by three points in the league table at the time so it should, he argued, have been below. Blatant favouritism!

Yes, you have to be super careful when you are writing about the Glasgow behemoths. Mercifully, both of the sides in the Viaplay Cup final at Hampden tomorrow will receive exactly the same impartial coverage in The Herald when the final whistle blows.

We will have three journalists in Mount Florida and the performance of every player on the park will be assessed, the team selections and tactics of Michael Beale and Ange Postecoglou analysed, the decisions of referee Nick Walsh scrutinised and the reaction of all those involved relayed.

The Old Firm game can often by high on endeavour and incident and low on quality play and silky soccer. Myriad talking points invariably arise during the course of the 90 minutes. They all have to be addressed.

Elsewhere, the fallout to the encounter online – and social media always goes into meltdown whenever Celtic face Rangers – will be closely monitored by our digital colleagues back in the office.

Supporters and former footballers are never slow to express a view and their take on proceedings is frequently fascinating. Whatever happens and whoever prevails, the debate will rumble on for days, weeks, months, years even.