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Mike Dean set to end 28-year career as a professional official

Mike Dean, 55, became a dedicated Premier League video assistant referee last season after hanging up his whistle at the end of 2022.

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Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Mike Dean | Sportz Point

Mike Dean, 55, became a dedicated Premier League video assistant referee last season after hanging up his whistle at the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

He began officiating in 1985 and progressed from refereeing in the Football League 10 years later to Premier League officiating in 2000.

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) say Dean will leave the organisation this summer.

Dean refereed over 550 matches in the top flight and he took charge of the FA Cup and League Cup finals at Wembley in 2008 and 2011 respectively.

Mike Dean is set to stand down from his position as a dedicated VAR - ending his legendary officiating career.

Dean, 55, had been named as a dedicated video assistant referee at the start of last season, after calling time on his on-field career. But the Telegraph report that after honest talks with chief of referees Howard Webb, it has been decided he is 'unsuited' to the role.

He was one of two officials exclusively tasked with working at Stockley Park, but struggled to make the transition and hadn't officiated a game since February. As a Premier League referee Dean took charge of more than 500 games and remains infamous for his unique style.

Dean's swift departure marks the latest move no-nonsense Webb has made since being appointed head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) – the body which oversees officiating. Last season saw several apologies made to clubs after mistakes, with Lee Mason - the other dedicated VAR - leaving his position in February.

His departure also signifies the latest step to overhaul the use of technology within British football, which continues to divide supporters, players and pundits. Webb is pushing hard to make the whole process more transparent by allowing conversations between officials to be made public.

"We made a commitment to be more transparent and we know and recognise that people want more information about refereeing processes - particularly with the advent of VAR," he explained during an appearance on Monday Night Football earlier this year.

He was also included in world governing body Fifa's list of match officials.

"PGMOL would like to place on record its recognition of Mike's achievements as well as his immense contribution to refereeing and the game as a whole," said the organisation.

"We thank him for his dedication to the organisation over a sustained period of time and wish him every success for the future."

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