Mike Dean has asked to be removed from Premier League duty this weekend, as a result of the death threats lobbed at him and his family. This, in light of Dean’s two recent controversial red card calls.
Fans have blasted those who have taken it “too far”, after Dean reported the harassment to police in the UK.
The 52-year-old match official has been in hot water online after issuing two controversial red cards: the first was shown to Southampton defender Jan Bednarek on Wednesday (February 3), for a challenge against Manchester United’s Antony Martial — the match ended in a 9-0 result to United; and the second was shown to West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek for violent conduct against Aleksander Mitrovic on Saturday (February 6).
Both cards have been appealed and overturned.
On both occasions, Dean made his decision after a VAR replay.
Soucek praised the Premier League’s decision to overturn the red card.
“I am glad my red card against Fulham has been overturned. I’ve checked it, I’ve gone over 200 games without a single red card. My entire career. I am looking forward to helping the team in the important games this week! Thanks for your support!” wrote Soucek on Twitter.
However, some fans are now asking the players to stand up against the death threats that have been issued against Dean and his family members, while others continued their criticism of Dean, calling the red card decision against Soucek a “travesty”.
Dean has a prolific history of handing out red cards that some take issue with. In 2019, Dean showed the 100th red card of his career (to United’s Ashley Young), becoming the first referee in EPL history to hit that number.
In 2017, he gave a straight red to West Ham midfielder Sofiane Feghouli for clashing with United defender Phil Jones. Replays later suggested that it was Jones that had been reckless.