Gannon and Dallas are no longer smiling at one another
Scottish referees' chief Hugh Dallas has accused Motherwell boss Jim Gannon of launching a personal attack that undermines the confidence of officials.
Gannon has criticised the head of referee development over his response to letters the Fir Park boss has sent questioning some officials' quality.
"I am astonished by the personal attacks made, which have questioned my honesty and integrity," said Dallas.
The resulting publicity "has a negative effect on confidence of referees".
Gannon had last week accused Dallas of questioning his own integrity after the former referee said he had only received one letter from the Motherwell manager, who had claimed he had twice expressed his concern about referees in writing.
Dallas said in his latest statement that he felt compelled to "set the record straight on a chain of events that have created an air of tension and negativity".
The type of adverse media coverage generated by Mr Gannon - which is extremely uncommon in Scottish football - has a negative effect on the confidence of referees and is counter-productive
SFA head of referee development Hugh Dallas
"After days of intense media attention, caused by an unwelcome level of personal criticism and vilification, I feel I have no alternative but to respond in the hope that the focus can return to football," he said.
"For the record, I received Mr Gannon's first letter, dated 21 September, on the 24th and duly responded, seeking clarification on contents alleging 'bias' pertaining to one of our referees.
"I also invited Mr Gannon to contact me directly to discuss the matter further, enclosing my mobile number and direct line.
"The next I heard from Mr Gannon was his post-match media conference, after Motherwell's Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Dundee United, in which he accused me of not responding to his original letter.
"Having explained my position after initial media enquiries, I then received a letter, dated 1 December, two days later from Mr Gannon stating he had written to me on two separate occasions, enclosing a copy of both letters.
"On the same day, 3 December, I also received the original copy of his second correspondence. It was then traced through the Royal Mail system and that tracking evidence was sent to Mr Gannon, along with the unopened letter."
Gannon has questioned the competence of "one or two" referees, who he has refused to name, and Dundee United counterpart Craig Levein and Hearts' Csaba Laszlo have also voiced their concerns.
The man who took charge of Motherwell this summer also says he is confused with the Scottish Football Association's system of accountability compared to the one in England and that he now feels gagged by rules on public comments.
However, Rangers manager Walter Smith on Friday defended the standard of Scottish referees and Dallas stressed that there was a rigorous process of evaluation.
"I am also insulted by Mr Gannon's latest dispatch to the media, in which he stated: 'The question for Hugh Dallas is, what is it that he gets paid for?'," said the referees' chief.
"We are addressing other requests of concern - and there are concerns - and we continue to work hard with our referees off the field. We have a robust observer system and, even this weekend, we will host a seminar aimed at improving the evaluation of referee performance.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.