Former Celtic boss Martin O’Neill has sensationally suggested that Hugh Dallas was biased at Fir Park the day that Rangers won the league on Helicopter Sunday.
O’Neill was in charge of our Parkhead rivals as they surrendered two goals in the closing stages of the league’s final day to lose 2-1 to Motherwell and force the helicopter to change direction to Easter Road.
Rangers had beaten Hibs 1-0 and were nervously awaiting the outcome of the Celtic match, the Parkhead club only needing a win to secure the trophy for the 2004/5 season.
It’s clearly still a sore spot for O’Neill who claimed that Dallas didn’t send off a Motherwell player in the first half because Celtic fans attacked him during an Old Firm match in 1999.
This wasn’t just any Old Firm match as Rangers ran out 3-0 winners to win the league title our rival’s home ground, something which sent the Celtic fans into meltdown.
Dallas was struck by a coin by the home support in a match which would go down in folklore as the Ibrox club won the game at the home of their rivals.
But speaking to the GO Radio Football Show, O’Neill believes that the fall-out from the shameful coin incident impacted Dallas’ decision-making six years later in Motherwell.
“That game will go down in my memory as my absolute nemesis,” said O’Neill.
“First of all, you [Stephen Craigain] should’ve had a man sent off after about 25 minutes of the game over on the far side of the pitch.
“The referee was Hugh Dallas at the time, Hugh was refereeing and Hugh was obviously reminding himself of some incidents away back which took part at Celtic where he’d been hurt.
“So I think he decided he’d give the benefit of the doubt to the Motherwell player.”
Over 15 years on, the scars of Helicopter Sunday are still very raw for our rivals and Rangers fans lapped up O’Neill’s conspiratorial tears in the wake of the comments:
Lovely to hear it still consumes him 😅
— DR 🇳🇱 (@davidwreid83) December 23, 2020
Not bitter at all is he.
— Davie (@dave_n84) December 23, 2020
So Martin is alleging that Hugh Dallas is still raging 6 years later and doesn't send off a player vs Celtic cos he got hit with a coin in '99?
— Matt⚡️Honda ™ (@uberhonda) December 23, 2020
Glad to see it’s still causing him pain. One of the best days 💙
— Glasgow Is Blue (@GlasgowIsBlue72) December 23, 2020
They just can’t help themselves. Always cheated.
— G1nger Beerd (@g1ngerbeerd) December 23, 2020
Yep it's Hugh Dallas fault that Scott MacDonald scored 2 late goals to make helicopter change direction and head to Edinburgh. Always cheated and never defeated that lot 😂😂
— Tez 🇬🇧🏴 (@ButcherTez) December 23, 2020
That has made me very happy knowing it consumes him so 😊
— 🏁🏎💨🚦 (@AmatoTheArcher) December 23, 2020
Aye, and both of Scott McDonalds goals were offside, and Celtic should’ve had another 4 goals that were disallowed. Typical Dallas.
— YouDidntListen (@CunningIndeed) December 23, 2020
Beautiful listening. 22nd May 2005 will always haunt them 😊
— Karlarl (@Karlarl184) December 23, 2020
It’s certainly something to entertain Rangers fans as they head into a tough week of fixtures in the Scottish Premiership title race.
Here’s how we fancy the Bears to line up against St. Johnstone as the club looks to maintain it’s 16-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.