Premier League referee Mike Dean has notified Merseyside Police after he and his family received death threats and abusive messages over the weekend.
Dean sent off Southampton centre-back Jan Bednarek against Man Utd last Tuesday and West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek at Craven Cottage on Saturday (pictured above). Bednarek’s dismissal was overturned on appeal, and Soucek’s red card was rescinded – West Ham manager David Moyes said the Soucek sending off was “an embarrassing decision”, which it was.
Referees chief Mike Riley said: “Threats and abuse of this nature are totally unacceptable and we fully support Mike’s decision to report these messages his family received to the police.
“Nobody should be victim of abhorrent messages like this. Online abuse is unacceptable in any walk of life and more needs to be done to tackle the problem.”
Dean is set to take charge of Leicester City’s FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday but he has requested to not be involved in any of the coming weekend’s Premier League fixtures.
I think Dean is a very inconsistent referee who appears to relish the spotlight a bit too much, but it goes without saying that death threats are way, way outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour, and something no official should ever have to deal with.