Mike Dean signs with Sky Sports after stepping down from VAR role
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Mike Dean has joined Sky Sports after calling time on his 28-year career as an official.
After retiring from refereeing, Dean moved into a video assistant referee role with PGMOL but announced on Saturday that he would be stepping away from the position.
However, the 55-year-old has immediately found a new opportunity after signing with Sky, where he will be part of their Gillette Soccer Saturday coverage next season.
Sky announced that Dean will be providing "match official insight", similar to what Peter Walton has been doing with BT Sport, now known as TNT Sports going forwards.
His arrival comes alongside the broadcaster's official confirmation that Simon Thomas will replace the legendary Jeff Stelling as host of the popular football results show.
Stelling, who has since been placed on gardening leave, anchored the programme for nearly 30 years and said he would be leaving the company at the end of the 2022/23 season.
Dean, meanwhile, takes on his second permanent TV gig after working with beIN Sports at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Commenting on the news, Dean said: "It feels a bit surreal to be a part of such a well-loved show, but I can’t wait to join the team.
“With all the technology available in today’s game, I think it’s crucial that fans understand why decisions have been made, even if they don’t agree with them!”
Soccer Saturday has undergone wholesale changes in recent years, with the likes of Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas being moved on.
Paul Merson, Clinton Morrison, Michael Dawson, Sue Smith, Kris Boyd and Tim Sherwood are all regulars on the panel these days.
Dean refereed over 500 matches in the Premier League after making the step up in 2000, making headlines for his showman style of officiating.