It appears that Reading will have quite a comedian on their hands when Crystal Palace visit the Madjeski Stadium for Friday’s FA Cup Quarter-Final, and I’m not talking about Alan Pardew or Alex McCarthy and his kicking for that matter. It’s the referee, Mike Dean, who has provided fans with a couple of LOL moments this season.
Firstly, he celebrated Tottenham’s goal against Aston Villa back in November...
Then on Sunday, he found a way to stop Manchester United starlet Marcus Rashford by running into him:
Back to the serious stuff, as this is an FA Cup Quarter-Final after all. The Wirral based official has been the man in the middle for 30 games so far this season, showing 92 yellow cards and eight red cards – including one in his last game when he sent off Juan Mata against West Brom. On top of that, Dean has awarded eight penalties in 2015-16.
The most recent Reading match he officiated was the final game of the 2012-13 Premier League season, when the already relegated Royals lost 4-2 to West Ham. Dean was also the whistle-blower for another cup quarter-final against top flight opposition, another 4-2 defeat, this time to Aston Villa. I don’t want to dwell on that for too long, but overall it doesn’t get much better. The 47 year old has reffed a total of 11 previous Reading fixtures, and we’ve won just twice. He has shown three red cards, all to Biscuitmen - Brynjar Gunnarsson, Kalifa Cisse and Ibrahima Sonko.
In terms of Dean’s FA Cup pedigree, he has taken charge of three games in the competition so far this season. Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Norwich, Bournemouth’s 2-1 victory at Portsmouth, and the 0-0 draw between Arsenal and Hull. His most prestigious game in the famous tournament was the 2008 final between Cardiff and Pompey.
It’s not often I get to write this much about the referee, so please forgive me if I rambled on - at least your knowledge on Mike Dean is now up to scratch!
The assistant referees for the tie will be John Brooks and Jake Collin, whilst on fourth official duty is Roger East.