Celtic have played their hand remarkably well, simply by saying what had to be said at the right moment. More importantly the club knew when to remain silent as the miscreants panicked and like rats in a sinking ship, turned on each other.
Behind all of this one saw the invisible hand of John Reid, his dark political skills were a key component in the Dallas debacle. One wonders what impact he would have had behind doors, locked in deep discussion with the two Englishmen Doncaster and Regan.
There are of course other unsung heroes like Paul67 of Quick News who was clearly being briefed from above, comically the mainstream media was following Paul’s constant drip of information rather than generating any information themselves!
Then there was the role of the indefatigable Phil MacGiollaBhain whose revelation about the original email set the ball rolling. Dallas and his cronies also achieved the remarkable feat of uniting the broad and diverse Celtic support, behind the unlikely figure of John Reid. This was a battle Celtic had to win, and they won it with style and in a very public way.
While we are revelling in the demise of Dallas, we should not forget a few critical lessons from the past week. The behaviour of the Scottish media was nothing short of disgraceful. The notorious programme broadcast by BBC Radio Scotland on Monday, featuring Kenny Clark and Gordon Smith was shocking. There was no attempt at any objectivity whatsoever, the poison was dripping from this pair. At one point the nonentity who was meant to be chairing the discussion screamed at Regan demanding to know why Celtic were not being punished for their crimes. Josef Goebbels himself would have been proud at this distortion of the truth, repeat the lie enough and people believe it, and critically get away from the central question.
By Friday, the issue had gone from being merely a sports’ issue to being a moral matter. “Call Kaye” also on BBC Radio Scotland yesterday invited callers from far and wide to weigh in and comment, presumably in one last desperate attempt to get public sympathy and save Dallas’s neck. The eponymous journalist Kaye Adams enjoined listeners to give their support for the embattled Dallas. All too quickly the debate moved away from football, to such tasteless subjects as paedophilia, Catholic education and even the basic tenets of the Catholic faith. All in the name of saving the neck of a proven liar, bully and cheat. Quite unintentionally this joke of a programme laid bare the deep rooted forces that are mounted against Celtic.
This morning I read an article by Iain Article which claims that Hugh Dallas has been hounded out of his job due to an orchestrated witch-hunt. This despicable lie was compounded by yet another lie, claiming that he was ‘resigning’ so as to protect his family from attacks and intimidation. We will never be privy to the conversations that took place between Dallas and his former employers, but
we can be sure that he did not resign. He was sacked. Despite a manic and sustained campaign mounted by his buddies in the media, and despite being the driving force behind today’s referee’s strike, his position was untenable.
Hugh Dallas and I are almost exactly the same age and from the same generation. I followed his career with interest and was staggered when he received the MBE in 2002 for his services to Scottish football.
The abiding memory of Dallas as a referee will be a bloodstained figure at Celtic Park, heroically leading Rangers to victory, and in the process causing a riot when he lost complete control due to his partisanship for the men in blue and white. Missiles and controversy are two words which feature throughout his not so distinguished career. Outside Scotland he incited riots and caused much anger involving yet again missiles and police escorts.
The Turkey-Italy European cup game of 2000 lives in the memory with yet another dubious penalty being awarded under strange circumstances. He was subsequently demoted in the tournament and took no further part.
In the World Cup of 2002, he took no further part after a controversial game between Germany and the USA. In the Champions League between AC Milan and Deportivo La Coruña in 2001, two hotly disputed penalties were awarded and the coins and missiles followed with Hugh being rescued by the Carabienieri and the list goes on….and on…….
He was found out and dealt with outside the narrow confines of Scotland and punished, yet the same self serving arrogant bigot achieved the highest position in Scotland. How was that possible? Given his background and failure, how can the SFA really consider such characters as Kenny Clarke and Stuart Dougal to succeed their friend and brother?
So farewell Hugh Dallas failed double glazing salesman, failed referee and failed human being. Close the door on your way out ?)))