Mike Dean ‘will be staying on as a Premier League referee next season despite retirement fears’ as stalwart official, 52, looks to move into 22nd year of taking charges of top-flight matches
- Referee Mike Dean has been officiating in the Premier League for 21 seasons
- There were fears that the 52-year-old would be hanging up his whistle this year
- Reports claims Dean will be taking charge of Premier League matches next term
- The official asked to be taken off a round of fixtures back in February after abuse
Mike Dean is set to stay on as a Premier League referee next season despite fears he would retire from officiating, according to reports.
The 52-year-old is about to finish his 21st season of top-flight officiating later this year, a campaign which has been played without spectators inside stadiums and contained several VAR controversies and rule changes.
Top-flight referees such as Phil Dowd and Mark Halsey opted to retire in their early-50s and it was feared that Dean would follow his fellow officials in hanging up his whistle after a challenging season.
Mike Dean will be staying on as a Premier League referee next season, according to reports
The iconic 52-year-old officiating has spent more than two decades of working in the top-flight
But according to The Athletic, Dean is expected to stay on for another season for the 2021-22 campaign, meaning he is set to officiate in front of fans should stadiums be full by the time the new term kicks off.
Dean temporarily stood down from refereeing duties for a week in early February after reporting death threats towards his family after several contentious calls.
Dean was widely criticised for sending off West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek at Fulham for an alleged elbow that month after checking the call with VAR official Lee Mason, though the Football Association overturned the decision.
Former PGMOL chief Keith Hackett called for both Dean and Mason to step down from their duties, calling them ‘a hapless double act’.
There were fears Dean would call time on his career this summer amid a difficult season
It was the second red card produced by Dean the FA overturned in consecutive gameweeks, as the official sent off Southampton defender Jan Bednarek at Manchester United for a professional foul.
Sportsmail reported that Dean asked himself to be withdrawn from the following round of Premier League fixtures after the Soucek incident, after reporting the death threats to Merseyside Police.
PGMOL chief Mike Riley and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters both published statements condemning the abuse.
Dean became the first referee to oversee 500 Premier League games when he took charge of Arsenal against Sheffield United at the Emirates last season.
He has refereed in the Premier League since the year 2000 and has become known for his maverick personality on the pitch.
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