Mike Dean quits English football after stepping down as VAR official
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Mike Dean has quit English football after stepping down as a Video Assistant Referee.
The legendary Premier League referee is quitting as a VAR official and will no longer be part of professional English football next term.
His departure ends a run that goes back 28 years to his early days as an assistant in the Football League.
In a statement, the Premier League's refereeing body said: "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.
"We thank him for his dedication to the organisation over a sustained period of time and wish him every success for the future."
According to the Telegraph, the 55-year-old reached an agreement with Howard Webb, the head of the referee's organisation PGMOL to step down after a difficult season in which he has been found "unsuited" to VAR duties.
Dean, an eccentric character, quit as an on-field referee at the end of the 2021-2022 campaign and moved to become a VAR official.
Despite having been just one of two full-time VAR officials, Dean was last appointed to take on the role for a Premier League game in February. As per the aforementioned publication, his skillset as a referee did not translate to being an effective decision-maker remotely at Stockley Park.
He did, however, last longer in the role than the other full-time VAR official, Lee Mason, who was stood down after being at the centre of a costly error during Arsenal's draw with Brentford back in February.
Dean started officiating in 1985 and rose the ranks to become a Premier League referee in 2000. As a top-flight referee Dean took charge of 569 games, and in that time issued 114 red cards.
His performances were rewarded with a promotion to FIFA's list of match officials in 2003, while he took charge of the FA Cup and League Cup finals at Wembley in 2008 and 2011 respectively.