Over the past week former referee Hugh Dallas has proven himself to be a liar. And he has now been accused of bigotry after using his work computer to distribute a sectarian e-mail.
Dallas somehow escaped sanction for his first offence. But his position as head of Scotland’s referees is simply untenable. He has to go now.
Yesterday’s News of the World picked up on a story from freelance journalist Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. He revealed on his website that Dallas had sent an email from his SFA account to several SFA colleagues on 16th September, the day of the visit of the Pope to Scotland.
This email had an attachment of a photo-shopped road sign showing a parent and child inside a red triangle. Underneath the warning sign were the words, “The Pope is coming.” The clear implication is that the Pope is a danger to children.
Dallas received the e-mail from another SFA employee, allegedly Darryl Broadfoot, the SFA’s Communications Director. He then forwarded it to other SFA employees, as well as some external recipients.
The SFA, like pretty much every other public body, has a strict anti-sectarian policy. It must now act on this serious breach by at least two of its senior employees.
In many other organisations there have been cases of disciplinary action being taken against employees who have used work time and resources to distribute offensive e-mails. A number of social workers from South Lanarkshire Council, for example, were dismissed for circulating an e-mail making reference to Gary Glitter and child abuse.
Hugh Dallas has shown himself to be a liar and now a bigot. It is simply not credible that he can continue in a high profile role following these latest revelations.
So Mr Dallas, will you come clean this time and admit your offence? Or will you try to lie and cover up this latest embarrassment like you did before?
Hugh Dallas has proven himself to be a craven coward. Perhaps he will, for once, do the decent thing and resign, but I doubt it.
Instead his employers should have no choice but to step in and remove this bigot from his position immediately.