A former Premier League referee has said he failed to correct a mistake while on video-review duty for a match last season to spare the on-field official “any more grief.”
Mike Dean was a video assistant referee for a London Derby between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in August 2022.
Tottenham defender Cristian Romero appeared to pull Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair and Dean decided not to tell on-field referee Anthony Taylor, someone he considers a friend, to review the incident.
From a corner that followed the incident, Harry Kane scored for Tottenham in the sixth minute of stoppage time and the game finished 2-2.
Speaking on the Up Front podcast, Dean said he should have told Taylor to review the incident. “I said to Anthony afterwards, I just didn’t want to send you to the screen after what has gone on in the game,’” Dean said.
“I didn’t want to send him up because he is a mate as well as a referee and I think I didn’t want to send him up because I didn’t want any more grief than he already had.”
Dean, who took charge of 553 Premier League matches from 2000-22, was solely a video review assistant last season, but didn’t work for two months after the incident at Stamford Bridge.
He said working the video review was something he ended up “dreading.”
“That was a major, major error. I was so disappointed,” Dean said on the podcast, “... but if they don’t score from the corner, it is not as big an issue. But, I knew full well then I would be stood down the week after. I asked to take a bit of time off because it just wasn’t for me.
“I used to get in the car on a Friday night and drive to London dreading Saturday,” he said. I used to be petrified sitting in the (review) chair.”
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited, which is the body responsible for refereeing games in English football, has not commented on Dean’s remarks.
Dean said in a column for the The Daily Mail after the match that he did not send Taylor to the screen because he did not believe what Romero did violent conduct.