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Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Dallas defends response to Gannon

Jim Gannon shakes hands with referee Alan Muir
Gannon (right) was critical of referee Alan Muir on Saturday

Hugh Dallas has responded to Motherwell manager Jim Gannon's accusation that he had written to him twice regarding the standard of refereeing without reply.

The Scottish FA's head of referee development said: "I received a letter about a match earlier in the season.

"I responded immediately asking for more clarification of some of the points he had raised in it and heard nothing back."

On Saturday Gannon said poor refereeing was "bringing the game into disrepute".

Gannon and Dundee United boss Craig Levein both slammed referee Alan Muir after Saturday's 2-2 draw in the Scottish Premier League at Fir Park.

Muir sent off United duo Prince Buaben and Danny Swanson, prompting Levein to rate the whistler's performance as "one out of 10".

Almost 12 months ago, SPL managers agreed to refrain from speaking to the media about refereeing decisions after matches.

However, that promise has been broken on several occasions this season.

I really take offence if ­people say I turn a blind eye to anything regarding the deve­lopment of referees

Hugh Dallas

An irate Gannon told BBC Scotland: "I have respected this vow of silence but I have written to Hugh Dallas on two separate occasions regarding the standard of refereeing and had no reply."

And the Motherwell manager, who claimed Jim O'Brien was fouled when he received the Steelmen's only yellow card, for diving, added: "If we turn a blind eye then the standard of refereeing is bringing the game into disrepute.

"There is no reporting structure that allows managers to give their feedback and that's disappointing.

"They would like to keep it all private because then they can hide behind it and let the same people referee games.

"The referee did not know a foul from a tackle. He let definite fouls go unpunished and when people make genuine attempts and win the ball, he's booking people. It was a bizarre spectacle."

But Dallas is adamant that there are systems in place to handle complaints about referees.

"Jim Gannon questioned the reporting system and I asked him to contact the SPL. Their match delegate's report is the vehicle managers have for making comments on the referee," said the referees' chief.

"The SPL match delegate asks both managers for their comments about the match referee's performance and they are included in his report to the SPL.

"I really take offence if ­people say I turn a blind eye to anything regarding the deve­lopment of referees. I appreciate managers are very passionate people, but I don't think the best time to make comments on a game and analyse things is after a game.

"These comments are unfortunate because I have had a fantastic relationship with Motherwell on and off the pitch for the last 20 years."

Levein came on to the pitch to protest against substitute Swanson's late red card for a foul on Keith Lasley and said later that he would appeal against the decision.


Gannon also criticised Swanson's dismissal and both managers agreed that United midfielder Jennison Myrie-Williams could have been been shown a red card after clattering Steven Saunders while on a yellow card.

"I'm not disappointed with the result," Gannon said. "I'm just disappointed with how the referee's performance took away from what was a fantastic game of football.

"It (Swanson's) was never a sending-off but Myrie-Williams should have received a second caution for his reckless challenge, but the referee didn't even see that as foul. Then I got warned for my complaints."

Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee was also critical of referee Craig Thomson's decision to show Mark Kerr two yellow cards during the 1-0 win over Rangers.

"If the second booking was a booking, there were 20 other bookings in the game," said the Dons boss, who has seen four of his players sent off in the last four matches.

"How a referee can send a player off for something like that is really hard. There was a lot of worse tackles that didn't get bookings."

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see also
Motherwell 2-2 Dundee United
28 Nov 09 |  Scottish Premier
Miller defends Dons referee blast
03 Nov 09 |  Aberdeen
Players can cut cautions - Dallas
21 Sep 09 |  Scottish Premier
SPL bosses agree silence on refs
19 Dec 08 |  Scottish Premier

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