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Stop Mike Dean from refereeing the Carling Cup Final

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You will all know that the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) provides match officials for all professional football matches played in England. PGMO likes to assert that when making the appointments for football matches, it takes the following factors into consideration;

1. Current form of the official

2. Position on Merit Table

3. Exposure to clubs with regard to frequency of appointment

4. Proximity to ground or City in which they were born or live

5. Any history with the clubs involved

6. Team that they support

7. International Appointments (Referee that has a UEFA game on Thursday will only be available for a Sunday or Monday game)

8. Experience


PL referees are also generally assessed on the following factors by an appointed assessor;

1. Accuracy of Law application

2. Player management skills

3. The overall quality of teamwork between the four members of the referee’s team

4. Technical skills displayed by referees, assistant referees and fourth officials.

With the above considerations in mind, it begs belief that the PGMO have announced that Mike Dean will take charge of the Carling Cup Final between Arsenal and Birmingham on 27th February 2011.  

Not only does Mike Dean issue more cards per game than any of his peers, it is an argument of statistical significance that when it comes to issuing cards, Dean likes to dish them out Arsenal’s way. During the 2009/2010 season, Arsenal came joint top (with Stoke) of the Mike Dean yellow card table – averaging 3 yellow cards per match (12 yellow cards in 4 matches); this despite Arsenal also coming top of the Premier League Fair Play table in that season. Arsenal also got zero penalties (for) and two against.

Dean took charge of Arsenal’s game against United at Old Trafford on 29/08/2009. Not only was Dean guilty of making several bad calls (including denying two clear penalties and throwing cards at Arsenal in usual fashion), he also proceeded to send Arsené Wenger to the stands for kicking a water bottle in frustration at yet another dubious offside call. To add insult to injury time; Arsenal were subsequently charged with ‘failing to control their players’ and levied a fine by the FA. Perhaps the worst of them all was when Arsenal played Birmingham at St. Andrews on the 23/02/2008. Dean capped another poor display by awarding Birmingham a highly dubious penalty despite being best placed to judge that an infringement had not taken place and that Gael Clichy won the ball cleanly.

It is also worth mentioning that Dean was demoted to championship duty on 7th April 2010 after several errors of judgment in the Premier League fixture between Manchester United and Chelsea the weekend before. He was also banned for a few months in 2005 due to his inappropriate links to an online betting site which offered gambling tips to happy punters and/or shares in a syndicate.

Now I appreciate PL referees have to perform a very difficult task under immense scrutiny from the public and media but Dean’s association with controversy is way too frequent for it to be a coincidence. As mentioned above, even the authorities have on occasions felt his indiscretions warranted some form of punishment. Bearing in mind that PGMO explicitly states on its website that history with clubs involved, position on merit table and player management skills, are considerations when selecting referees, it begs belief how they arrived at the conclusion that Dean  is the best man to take charge of the CC final.

I believe Dean’s selection is counterproductive and only serves to reopen past controversies based on his association with both clubs.  The latter certainly support the argument against his suitability for the game and PGMO’s decision to place him in charge is largely unjustifiable.


Please sign this petition (keeping any comments clean) to support the “Stop Mike Dean from taking charge of Carling Cup Final” campaign. It is my intention to send a hard copy to Dean himself and PGMO General Manager Mike Riley. Whether this will force PGMO to reconsider their decision is anyone's guess but it should certainly give them something to think about.


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