Mike Dean ‘will stay on as Premier League referee next season despite fears of retirement’ as the 52-year-old staunch official appears to be heading into his 22nd year in which he takes charge of top matches.
- Referee Mike Dean has been in the Premier League for 21 seasons
- There were fears that the 52-year-old would hang up his whistle this year
- Reports that Dean will be in charge of Premier League games for the next term
- The official asked in February to be taken off after abuse of a round of matches
Mike Dean plans to stay on as a Premier League referee next season, despite fears he might retire, according to reports.
The 52-year-old is about to complete his 21st season of top office later this year, a campaign played in stadiums without spectators and which featured several VAR controversies and rule changes.
Top referees such as Phil Dowd and Mark Halsey opted to retire in their early 50s, and it was feared Dean would follow his fellow officials by hanging his whistle after a challenging season.
According to reports, Mike Dean will stay on as a referee in the Premier League next season
The iconic 52-year-old official has worked at the top for more than two decades
But according to The athleticDean is expected to stay on for another season for the 2021-22 season, meaning he will be performing in front of fans if the stadiums are full by the time the new semester starts.
Dean temporarily stepped down from refereeing duties for a week in early February after reporting that he had been threatened with death after several controversial phone calls.
Dean was heavily criticized for sending West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek to Fulham that month for an alleged elbow after checking the call with VAR official Lee Mason, though the Football Association overturned the decision.
Former PGMOL chief Keith Hackett called on both Dean and Mason to step down, calling them “an unfortunate double act.”
There were fears that Dean would take time out for his career this summer amid a difficult season
It was the second red card produced by Dean to wipe out the FA in consecutive weeks of play, when official Southampton defender Jan Bednarek sent to Manchester United for a professional foul.
Sportsmail reported that Dean had asked himself to be withdrawn from the next round of Premier League games following the Soucek incident, after reporting the death threats to Merseyside police.
PGMOL chief Mike Riley and Premier League director 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 Emirates Stadium last season.
He has been refereeing in the Premier League since the year 2000 and is known for his non-conformist personality on the pitch.