‘Absolute farce’ – Mike Dean claims Anthony Taylor comments have been ‘blown out of context’

Mike Dean believes claims that he didn’t send Anthony Taylor to the VAR screen because he is a ‘mate’ is ‘an absolute farce’.

The former referee has come under fire from fans this week after his comments to Simon Jordan about an important VAR call.


Dean has responded to his swathe of criticismCredit: @SkySportsNews X
As VAR, he should have intervened when Romero pulled Cucurella's hair


As VAR, he should have intervened when Romero pulled Cucurella’s hairCredit: SKY SPORTS

Dean was the VAR in Chelsea’s home clash against Tottenham last season in which Marc Cucurella’s hair was pulled by Cristian Romero.

However, he opted not to send Taylor the screen to check the incident, with Spurs scoring a crucial equaliser just moments later.

He said he didn’t ask the referee to go the screen because he was his ‘mate’ and didn’t want him to have any more grief.

Such an explanation caused anger amongst Premier League fans but Dean has now offered a response to the criticism.

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Explaining what happened on Soccer Saturday, he said: “Well what happened is I’ve seen the incident, looked at it numerous occasions, probably too many times.

“Yes he’s pulled his hair, was it a violent act? Probably not but he shouldn’t pull his hair. Probably should have sent Anthony to the screen, that buck stops with me and I should have sent him so it’s as simple as that.”

Then when asked why he didn’t send Taylor the monitor, he replied: “It’s funny because that’s all been blown out of context because what I’ve said is not old news. It’s been out there in news reports before, maybe four or five months ago so it’s not new news.

“I refer to him as a ‘mate’, I mentioned to the guys before that what you’ve got to look at in context is that you might not like some guys in your refereeing group.

Fans were left angered after his comments


Fans were left angered after his commentsCredit: Sky Sports

“But when you get a game at the weekend, there’s four of you in the middle, there’s a VAR and the AVAR, that’s them six people, they’re your mates for the day.

“You might play in a professional team there might be 11 players, you might not like three or four of them but at three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon they’re your mates and you want your mates to do well.

“So the ‘mate’ thing has been like blown all out of proportion to be fair but I want to support the referee as much as I can and that’s what you do as a VAR.

“Yes it was wrong, I should have sent him to the screen but to say I didn’t send him over because he’s a ‘mate’ is an absolute farce and it’s just been all been blown out of proportion to be honest with you, just pretty much trying to make a story.”

“Both managers had been cautioned, he cautioned about eight or nine players and I’m trying to protect the referee,” he said when asked a similar question.

Dean no longer referees in the Premier League


Dean no longer referees in the Premier LeagueCredit: GETTY

“Not because he’s my ‘mate’ because I’m trying to protect the referee. It was wrong and I paid the price, I didn’t have a game for three weeks after that so I did pay the price. The buck stops at me and it was a bad mistake by myself.”

Dean was then questioned on upholding the integrity of officiating regardless of his relationship with Taylor: “100 per cent.

“Other wording I’d use is probably not the right words, if I said colleague it’s a bit different, because I’ve used the word friend it’s, ‘Oh he’s your best mate’.

“He’s not my best mate, we’re just mates on the day because when you go out as a team of six, you want to look after your mate in the middle, that’s what you do.

“The line is doing exactly the same, the fourth man does the same, the referee will look after the line, it’s exactly the same. Buck stops with me, should have sent him, simple as that.”

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