England referee Mike Dean has claimed to have received death threats and has requested to not officiate this weekend’s Premier League game he was originally in charge of due to this.

Mike Dean has had a torrid week with some really questionable decisions that have angered football fans around the world. The Premier League official claims to have received abuse and death threats following the debacles when he sent off Southampton defender Jan Bednarek against Manchester United during the Saints’ 9-0 drubbing at Old Trafford.

He was also criticised for a terrible decision by sending off West Ham central midfielder Tomas Soucek when the Hammers played Fulham on Saturday in the Premier League.

What angered fans and pundits alike was that the VAR thought that the decisions had to be revisited by the 52-year old referee on the pitch-side screen as he did not seem to agree with the decisions, however, Mike Dean instead, sent off Jan Bednarek in what appeared to be a case where the defender was trying to avoid fouling Anthony Martial but made the slightest of contact that floored the Frenchman.


Jan Bednarek of Southampton argues with Mike Dean during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford.
(Photo by Phil Noble – Pool/Getty Images)

Even if that was a foul, it was never a red card offence. The Saints defender was already on a yellow card but the foul did not even warrant a yellow so to see him get a straight red seemed absolutely absurd.

The worst part about the sending off was that Southampton were already down to 10 men and 6 goals down against a relentless and merciless Manchester United.

In Mike Dean’s defence, he deemed that Bednarek made no attempt to play the ball and that could be a potential conclusion drawn from the incident.

However, Southampton appealed to the FA for the overturning of the red card and it was done as they believed that the referee’s decision was incorrect as well.

To make things worse for the Premier League referee, he sent off Soucek in the last minute of the game claiming violent conduct after he accidentally elbowed Fulham striker Aleksander Mitrovic. This decision was shocking and people were angered by the odd decision made by the English official.

West Ham appealed Soucek’s red card and this was overturned as well suggesting that Dean’s decisions recently have been terrible. However, no matter how bad/wrong the decisions may have been, it is absolutely uncalled for people to send across threatening messages on social media.

West Ham United

Tomas Soucek of West Ham appeals to Mike Dean after being shown a red card 
(Photo by Adam Davy – Pool/Getty Images)

Mike Dean was not the only person targeted with abuse and threats. His family members received hate and threats too, which is disappointing to see. After all, football is a game and when the beautiful game takes an ugly turn like this, it is uncalled for as nothing matters more than a person’s sanity and living in united times.

Tomas Soucek came out in support of referee, Mike Dean as well by sharing his opinion on Twitter.


Mike Dean is still expected to referee Wednesday’s FA Cup game between Leicester and Brighton and Hove Albion where VAR will be available and operated by Graham Scott.

Dean will be hoping for a turnaround in fortunes and better decision-making in the hopes of returning to being a top referee as he has been for many years.

The Premier League’s Chief Executive Richard Masters said, “It is inexcusable that Mike Dean and his family have received online abuse, including death threats, as a result of doing his job officiating at a Premier League match.

“It is completely unacceptable that we are seeing abusive behaviour aimed at players, managers and match officials regularly on social media platforms.

“Mike and his family have our full support in reporting this to the police. This once again highlights the need for greater proactive intervention from social media companies to stop online abuse and identify offenders.”

Things need to change in English football and fast. Before this incident, players like Lauren James, Antonio Rudiger, Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were all victims of racism on social media.

This is unacceptable and the world needs to unite against racism and injustice. KICK IT OUT!