Mike Dean hasn't been appointed Premier League VAR in two months due to 'performance levels': report

Mike Dean
(Image credit: PA)

Mike Dean has not been appointed a video assistant referee (VAR) for a Premier League game in two months, with reports suggesting poor "performance levels" have formed part of the decision.

A retired Premier League referee on the pitch, Dean was appointed as a VAR at the start of this season. 

However, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) hasn't appointed Dean as a VAR since Leicester City's 4-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur on February 11, with ESPN reporting that performance levels have contributed to the decision.

February 11 proved a controversial day in Premier League football, with a PGMOL statement saying Howard Webb, chief refereeing officer, accepted there were "significant errors in the VAR process" and the issues were being "thoroughly reviewed".

Part of that review has led to several people not being involved in VAR duties since. 

Lee Mason subsequently left his position as a full-time VAR, after Webb personally called Arsenal to apologise for "human error" incorrectly allowing a Brentford goal to stand in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates, despite Christian Norgaard standing in an offside position in the build-up to the Brentford goal. 

While none of Dean's decisions at the King Power Stadium were highlighted as mistakes, the 54-year-old has been adjudged to have made several mistakes as a VAR this season. 

For example, he missed Tottenham defender Cristian Romero pulling Chelsea's Marc Cucurella's hair. Spurs scored an injury-time equaliser from the resulting corner, and Dean later apologised in his column that he made a mistake.

Consequently, his future as a VAR hangs in the balance, according to ESPN. Indeed, Dean and Mason were the two full-time VAR officials appointed by the PGMOL, but neither have been in post since February 17. 

Dean refereed in professional football from 1997 to 2022, overseeing more than 750 games during his career. 

Premier League head of VAR Neil Swarbrick is also due to step down at the end of the 2022/23 campaign. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.