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Referee Mike Dean Issues Huge Prediction Over Major Change To VAR

Ryan Sidle

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Referee Mike Dean Issues Huge Prediction Over Major Change To VAR

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Mike Dean has predicted that VAR will undergo a major change in the Premier League in the coming years, leading for fans being able to listen to officials.

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VAR splits opinion just as much as Dean did as a referee, making their marriage for the upcoming season, and the foreseeable future, a near perfect partnership.

Dean hung up his whistle at the end of the Premier League season but is now set to continue officiating as a full time VAR official at Stockley Park.

After 22 years on the pitch, at the highest level, he'll now be sat in a room still making huge decisions, but people won't get to hear his famous lines, such as 'off you pop.'

However, the Tranmere Rovers fan, who has admitted singing 'the referee's a w***er' whilst watching the League Two club, thinks that in the near future they'll be a way to hear the ref talk to the VAR official.

The one problem is that he believes teams in the top tier will use it as an excuse to charge fans even more money.

"I think in three or four years it will come in and we will be able to hear what is being said between the referee and the VAR," the 54-year-old told the Times.

Dean during his final game. Image: Alamy
Dean during his final game. Image: Alamy

"David Dein, when he was running Arsenal, said when headsets were introduced years ago that he wanted fans to be able to pay £5 or £10 to listen in.

"The clubs would go for that, if they can make money from charging for headsets to listen in, and it could be another thing for advertising.

"They have it in snooker and rugby and we will definitely see it come in in the next five years.

"I think it's a good thing if you can explain your decision, but I think it should only be when the referee is talking to the VAR that you are listening in. It shouldn't be every single thing you say."

Dean will be up close and personal with his VAR screen next season. Image: Alamy
Dean will be up close and personal with his VAR screen next season. Image: Alamy

Since the introduction of VAR, fans have often been left baffled as to what is going as an official makes a decision away from the live action.

It can add to the drama for those watching television, as they can see replays and have it explained to them what the ref is looking for, from commentators or Peter Walton.

However, those inside the ground are left completely befuddled, due to the lack of communication, and the introduction of hearing VAR officials would certainly help.

The idea to charge fans is certainly similar to the 'ref link' that is available at some rugby games, with fans able to hear what referee and TMO say to each other.

Fans can hear what's going on when rugby officials use the TMO. Image: Alamy
Fans can hear what's going on when rugby officials use the TMO. Image: Alamy

Dean certainly wasn't everyone's favourite during his career as the 23rd man on the pitch, and was genuinely only ever liked for his dramatics.

The hatred went too far last season when he had to ask to be removed from the rota one week, after receiving death threats for sending off Tomas Soucek.

He denied the threats, on him and his family, were to blame for his retirement, saying, "That had nothing to do with it. I’m not getting any fitter, any younger, and it catches up with you — the time was right.

"I’m pleased I made the decision off my own back and I wasn’t told to leave.

"I was OK about it [the threats] but when it affects people close to you — and my daughter was getting death threats — that’s when I decided to step away and have a couple of weeks away and decide whether this was worth doing again."

Topics: Mike Dean, VAR, Premier League

Ryan Sidle
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