By Jason Jones

22nd Dec, 2019 | 4:04pm

Top flight referee opens up on key decision he should not have given in 18/19 Rangers match

Referees have, and probably always will be, the pantomime villains of professional football.

Rightly or wrongly, we as spectators all been guilty of laying the blame at the man in black’s door at one point or another, but it’s important to remember that when all is said and done, the officials are only human.

And one Scottish Premiership ref has come out and openly owned up to a mistake he made earlier this year in a Rangers game.

Speaking in an interview with The Times, Andrew Dallas admitted that he should not have given a penalty for an incident involving Jermain Defoe against St. Mirren back in February.

He said: “Jermain went down but then almost immediately sprang back up to his feet.

“I blew and awarded the penalty, but then, as Defoe bounces back up, you almost want the noise from your whistle to go back in and never to have come out. But it was too late.

“I don’t shirk away from talking about any decisions I’ve made. There had been contact in that moment, but it was very slight. You don’t give a penalty for that. It was an error.”

Dallas went on to give another three spot kicks to the Gers in a comfortable 4-0 win at Ibrox, but it’s clear that the first decision still plays on his mind.

The thing is, there is a chasm between referees and supporters at the moment, and that can manifest itself in some pretty ugly ways.

But while there is no excuse for giving the man in the middle abuse, perhaps we would see a greater understanding from fans if more officials followed Dallas’ lead and explained the reasoning behind their errors in judgement.

At the very least, it would remind us fans that the man with the whistle is human like the rest of us.

In other news, ‘Outstanding’ – These Rangers fans drool over official Saturday announcement.