BREAKING NEWS: Football HASN’T seen the last of Mike Dean! The retired ref is STAYING in the Premier League after signing a deal to become a VAR official at Stockley Park next season
Mike Dean is staying in the Premier League after signing a deal to become a dedicated VAR next season, Sportsmail can reveal.
Dean, 54, retired from refereeing at the end of the last campaign after 22 years of on-field duties in the top flight. His 560th and final game in charge was Chelsea against Watford at Stamford Bridge in May.
Dean will now apply his vast experience at Stockley Park from August. It is not an entirely new role to the Wirral official, having acted as VAR on multiple occasions since video technology was introduced three years ago.
Mike Dean announced he would retire from refereeing at the end of the last season
He has signed a deal though to become a dedicated Premier League VAR official next season
Major changes are afoot at the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) with Mike Riley stepping down as referees’ chief from next season. Howard Webb has been linked with replacing Riley when his MLS contract in the United States expires in December.
As well as Dean, Jonathan Moss and Martin Atkinson have also retired from refereeing Premier League matches. Moss and Atkinson are moving upstairs, taking up Select Group 1 management and coaching roles respectively. Kevin Friend is likewise hanging up his whistle to take over a newly-created position as manager of the Select Group 2 officials, who referee matches in the Championship.
Four new officials will operate in next season’s Premier League with referee Tom Bramall, along with assistants Natalie Aspinall, Nick Greenhalgh and Steve Meredith, joining the top flight’s team.
Dean has experience having acted as the VAR official at Stockley Park on multiple occasions
Dean dished out over 2,000 yellow cards and a record 114 reds during his career
Dean started officiating in 1985, progressing through the ranks to assistant referee and then referee in the Football League.
He was promoted to the Premier League in 2000, overseeing some of the top flight’s most iconic matches, including Manchester City’s 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers when Sergio Aguero’s late winner secured them their first title since 1968.
Dean’s eccentricities made him an entertaining watch, with some supporters calling him ‘the greatest showman’. His personable nature also made him popular among players. Since retiring from refereeing, he has been holidaying in Spain ahead of the new season.
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