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Mike Dean: the referee, the man, the history, the scandals

Below we print an open letter to Mike Dean, referee, from Walter Broeckx, referee.

But just before that, here’s a quick summary of Mr Dean’s career

In 2005 he was suspended from being a ref because he was involved with a betting company.  His official crime was “breaching the terms of his contract”. 

He was then reinstated and appointed to referee the 2006 FA Cup Final but the FA then unappointed him after it was suggested he might be biased in favour of norther teams, given that he lives in Wirral. 

Here’s Walter’s letter…

Dear colleague,

I hope you let me call you so because I am a referee to, be it in a different country and at a lower level then you.

I don’t support a team in my own country – do you? – in the higher leagues but I must admit that I am an Arsenal fan since the 70s.

I can hear you saying: Oh no another Arsenal fan that is going to write me off but just read further because for many years I have been known on many internet sites and news sites as a firm defender of referees.

So for the game at Old Trafford and the penalty you gave to Rooney I will not say any bad word to you. If I would have been in your place I would have given the penalty. 100 per sent sure.

I know some fans are blaming you since evidence on pictures shows that Rooney was falling before he was with Almunia. You can’t be blamed for that. We don’t have the evidence of pictures or video at our disposal on the field. We just have to trust our own view and blow the whistle. The only one to be exposed for that is Rooney who dived for it and deceived you and me.

I will bring on another case to defend you.23 February 2008. Birmingham – Arsenal. We all remember it for the Eduardo horror injury but you also gave Birmingham a penalty in the last seconds. Video evidence later showed that Clichy touched the ball so it was rather a dubious penalty in many eyes but again: I don’t blame you for giving that penalty against Arsenal. You make the decision in a split second and that’s it.

As a ref I know the problems and difficulties all to well. So I always look at the position of the ref and mostly I know why you or a colleague makes his decision and so I defend you or another colleague in those cases.

After all we are human.

But now that the Birmingham – Arsenal game came to my mind I remember another incident just before you gave the Birmingham penalty. Adebayor was running in the Birmingham penalty area when a defender tried to pull his shorts off. It looked like it would fit 2 Adebayors in those shorts at that time. And you just stood there some 10 meters from the incident and didn’t blow your whistle for the obvious penalty. No you let the play continue. Even after the game the Arsenal haters from MOTD said this was a clear penalty. In my view also but I don’t really know if the Fifa rules also apply in the UK for the full 100%?

But just lets go back to Saturday at Old Trafford. In the 39th minute Arshavin played the ball past Fletcher who came in sliding and took a full blow at Arshavin and brought him down. SAF later said that Fletcher touched the ball and indeed he did touch the ball…with his hands. If this wasn’t a penalty when is it ever a penalty? It was 2 faults in one action by the defender.

I know MU fans and some Arsenal fans say: Because Arshavin scored a minute later he made up for the not giving the penalty. Well I must say I totally disagree on that. I’m afraid you made a mess on that occasion, like you did in Birmingham with Adebayor. It is not because Arshavin scores a goal a minute later that the fact that, for the second time, you refuse to give a blatant penalty to Arsenal is made up by.

But you know I always look for rational explanations. Maybe you suffer from some light form of epilepsy? Maybe you suffer from petit mal and don’t know it. It is a soft form of epilepsy where you have seconds or even split seconds that your brain isn’t working properly and you are a little bit absent of the world. This can happen without anyone noticing it. Please check this out with your doctor because it is important that you know it when you have those things.

But if you don’t have this disease, then why on earth didn’t you make the decisions that where clear to see for everyone? Do you have something against Arsenal? Are you a fan of Manchester United and are trying to help them to overcome there opponents? If you don’t have any logical explanation on this I’m afraid I can only call you :

a)      a bad referee not worth to carry the Fifa badge

b)      a cheater

It’s up to you Mr. Dean to inform us what is going on between you and The Arsenal. Is your medical condition not good enough then stop refereeing. Do you hate the Arsenal then inform the FA so they can give you all the games they won’t but not involving a game from Arsenal?

Time to come out in the open, Mr. Dean, time to say why you don’t blow blatant penalty’s in favour of Arsenal. Because if you are a cheater then you are a disgrace to me and all our colleagues who referee games of football. It is your failure that shines down on us and brings us to in a bad daylight.

Maybe it’s better to call it a day and pick up your season ticket at Old Trafford and watch other refs do the job that you obviously don’t dare to do: blowing a penalty against United at Old Trafford.

Still your colleague, but for how long ?

Yours sincerely

Walter

(c) Untold Arsenal 2009

63 comments to Mike Dean: the referee, the man, the history, the scandals

  • MOMONEY

    Am I the only one who thinks that Rooney’s penalty shouldn’t have been given because the ball was out of play and he didn’t control it? To me this matters way more than the dive…

  • walter

    Well MOMONEY I can tell you that this in fact doesnt really matter for the full account.

    Lets do some hypothetics. And we start by presuming that the defenders makes a foul and the striker doesnot dive or cheats.

    Striker runs past a defender to try and catch a ball some 10 yards distance, and the defender brings him down : striker has no control of the ball, ball is in play, foul in penaltybox= penalty. (this happened to Ade at Birmingham in fact)
    The only thing is that when the ball is clearly out of the playing field then it isn’t a penalty. Give you an example: keepers makes a save and the ball goes in corner. Players are settling them selves for the corner but suddenly a defender punches a forward in the penaltybox= no penalty because play hasn’t started yet and the ref cannot give a penalty in that case.
    If the corner would have been given then off course it is a penalty and a red card.
    In fact if the ball is IN PLAY and in the other penalty box and a defender kicks a striker in the other box and it is spotted by the ref = penalty and red card (off course).

    I hope I made it clear because explaining those sometimes little details can make a whole difference.

    But fact is Rooney went down before contact and that is called diving and again I really mean it, I think when I was on the field I would have blown the penalty.
    But if I would have been on the field with the Fletcher-Arshavin decision: penalty and at least a yellow card. I dont know for a red card because in it the handball alone is not worthy a red card but the tackle might have been but this depend on the angle you see it as a ref

  • walter

    Forgot to mention in the case of no penalty when a player punches he will get a red card off course.

  • IndianGooner

    Excellent letter, Walter.

    For Me, it is both a & b and an Arsenal Hater. 2 penalties denial for us and 2 questionable penalties for the opposition in less than 2 years cant be said as ‘Human Mistakes’.

  • allboyz

    good one walter

  • robert

    outstanding letter. well-reasoned, articulate, emphatic. mike dean is a scandal and so is the fa by association. thanks for this!!!!

  • MOMONEY

    OK if those are the rules then I understand. Just seems that Rooney kicking it as far as he can gets rid of the chance. It probably was out of play but its a quick quick call and I can see it being botched…

  • Davi

    Walter this is a really good letter, and your point in the comments section was excellent. You put things really clearly.
    I agree with you on the rooney penalty, i ref couldnt really tell that he’d dived – it’s the media Im angry with about that, considering how much they’ve crucified eduardo recently
    Your points on the fletcher one are correct too. I wouldnt have said it was a red card offence on its own, but a clear booking. He threw himself in recklessly.

    Could you tell me what you think about the bookings situation (6 to 3) seeing that fletcher is being heralded now as the man of the match, when imo he got away with far too much, and actually just fouled his way to victory in a sense.
    Also on this: I feel that the Man Utd players get to be a lot more physical with us than we are with them. I saw Fletcher climb all over the back of one of our defenders before taking the ball, and it was deemed a fair challenge – which I felt was fairly typical in the game.
    Whereas our players seem to give away fouls, and indeed bookings a lot more easily.
    Did you detect a bit of bias in the refereeing there as well, or do you think I myself have a biased perspective. Because I’ve thought this to be true in a lot of our matches in recent years. Particularly against Man Utd though.

  • Ben

    I really Feel Bad reading your open letter to Mike Dean, Mr Walter, i never knew i was the refree of 23 February 2008. Birmingham – Arsenal Match. we were made for that season, that decision killed our hope and we ended third that season from an 8 point lead.

    A good refree Doesn`t support any team in any given league. but refrees here in london are supporter of clubs more especiall Man U. I respect Most Of them cause they Know how to Control the game and Pressure from The so called Big team.

    The truth is that English refrees does not know any thing about foot, i think they should be fan and not Refrees. Thats why you will never see in an important games like World Cup and CL Competition Like Final, the last time an England refree Handled a world cup match he ended handing a player 3 yellow cards in a Match. Thats absolutely something very Funny.

  • Odu

    It is difficult to blame the refree alone, I believe the football association has a hand in all these. Why is no actions taken against refrees and why is that these issues come up mostly in matches invloving man u? that man U is a core british team and (maybe with support), the EPL is business and fairness is not just expected but be the case at all times.

    I hope Dean will NOT be at the world cup.

  • Ozziegooner

    A fantastic piece of work there Walter. So eloqently put. Question is, as Arsenal supporters is there nothing we can do to address these injustices. The rules of fit and proper persons should apply to referees. If you are not fit to referee, then you should be demoted until you can demonstrate that you are competant enough to carry out your duties. Clearly the FA do not have such stringent measures in place or is it simply a case of not enough good refs? Such that we get complete rubbish in likes of Mike Dean.
    I truly believe that there is a conspiracy against the Arsenal. Having gone to most of the home games last season, I can’t recall ever feeling like the home side, as I watched decision after decision go against us. Maybe I am being paranoid. I certainly do feel like everybody hates us.

  • mizzle

    good one bro! i believe what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Arsenal vs Man U match should be reviewed and culprits(ref too) should be banned.

  • Jonny Neale

    I have to say I thought Rooney dived but I don’t think that caused the contact between the players. Yes he was on his way down already but there would have been contact regardless. It was, whether I like it or not, a penalty.

    Almunia should never have come of his line with such commitment unless he was sure he would get the ball. Looking at where the ball was going there was simply no need.

    As you point out it was a tough decision but, for me, Almunia should never have give the ref the decision to make. Especially at Old Trafford where all referees struggle with intimidating atmosphere.

    I like Almunia but it does baffle me that Wenger has overlooked better options in the past, not least Given at M City. It has been said several times already that he looks the best of all their big name signings and I agree. He has already made several stunning and vital saves that other keepers would have struggled with.

    I have heard it said that a great goal keeper is worth at least 10 points over a season – in comparison to a merely good goal keeper. At best Almunia is competent – there are many, many better and though my support for Wenger is total this is one area where he would have done well to make a much higher priority.

    One great Lehman season aside, we have never really come close to replacing Seaman and we had options on Reina, Van der Sar and Given but passed them all up.

  • Is this open letter from Walter Broeckx being published in other places as well?

  • Davi

    Almunia is at least as good as or better than the other goalkeepers of the big 4. They all make a lot of mistakes you know. Almunia is relatively solid, but its true can be a bit over-eager at times.

    How do we know almunia wouldn’t have got the ball if rooney had actually intended to maintain control of it?

  • Dean is clearly pro utd and anti The Arsenal, he has shown himself to be of low morals by getting suspended for being involved with a betting co.This xxxxhole isnt fit to referee outside the hackney marshes!!

  • timmy the gunner

    Spot on Walter!!

    There has to be something Arsenal can do to avoid this ref in the future. Every time he is involved in Arsenal games there is controversy. Simple amazing that this ref still has a job. He gave the Arsenal players yellow cards during the whole game, on the other hand Fletcher was able to kick Arsenal players all game long.

    Mike Dean = Disgrace to football

  • george

    mike dean may has well done the match with a man united shirt he dosent deserve to be a ref he blatently supports man united as for the rooney penalty that was a penalty today i was hopeing that arsene was gonna buy a keeper because almunia is shit im an arsenal fan and although we scored goals we kept on clean sheet in five games thats genrally down to almunia are defence has been great but in a game the opposing team will get a chance and when they get one almunia is rubbish his choice making is terrible ronney was going nowhere he had three defenders around him and then almunia runs out and takes him out if al carrys on like this come jan we need a new keeper

  • i also think refs mike dean n howard web should not appear in the world cup they are a disgrace to the beautiful game

  • Jonny Neale

    Davi, really?

    I would trade him for any of Reina, Cech, Given, Van der Sar (a couple of years ago anyway) – and I don’t know many who wouldn’t. He isn’t quite in their class.

    There is a site somewhere, looking at a wide range of goalkeeper stats. It had Almunia above mid-table amongst the premiership keepers but not up with the best. I can’t find it but he was below the ones I mentioned already and Carson, Schwarzer and Howard.

    Given that really good goalkeepers are so hard to come by, we have no problem scoring, and plenty with conceding, surely we should be placing a great keeper as a higher priority?

    Arsenal bossed that game and yet Man Utd won it. Why? Because we let them back into the game. Almunia let them back in, by making the kind of error of judgement which a better keeper may not have. When you come off your line like that the crucial thing is to get the ball. In that he failed quite comfortably.

    Of course there were other factors too but the fact remains Arsenal could surely make use of a better keeper than Almunia.

  • gooner from india

    an excellent letter walter…i hope he really does those medical checkups or resigns from his job!!

  • Davi

    Jonny – I think maybe Reina or Given you could argue are better. I wouldn’t necessarily agree though. Cech and VDS have made many more blatant mistakes than almunia over the last few years.
    The stat you quote doubtless includes clean sheets/ goals conceded. So its no surprise to see howard and schwarzer above based on last season.
    You didnt really answer my point that had rooney not kicked the ball out, maybe almunia would have got it. I mean he didnt really have a fair starting point.
    We were cheated out the game. Rooney dived & the ref was awful. That’s why we didnt win. If he’d booked the players he should have, they would have been at our mercy. If he’d given a penalty for arshavin, who knows what the score would have been.

  • walter

    Davi, the bookings I left aside in my letter because otherwise Tony should have bought extra space on his server. 😉
    As normally I watched the game with one of my sons and from the moment that Valencia ellbowed Vermaelen and got nothing I said that it would be a difficult game. You could see trough the game that an Arsenal player was penalised much easier with a foul then the Utd ones.
    Example: Just 1-0 to The Arsenal Van Persie made a challenge on Gigs near our box. He jumped in with his foot on the ground touched the ball but Giggs had to jump up. Dean gave the foul – correct but also gave a yellow card. In the second half utd 2-1 up. Eduardo had the ball halfway their half and I think Vidic dived in, just like RVP, with his 2 foot towards Eduardo and Dean…. did nothing but wave play on. Luckely Eduardo jumped up like Giggs did but if would have stood on the ground it could have been another horror tackle.
    This was such bad refereeing because he only saw it from one side. Some yellows were deserved but as a ref you (should) know that when you let one team make a lot of fouls the opposition will do something back and then it is the fault of the ref that some players make heavier fouls.
    How Fletcher didnt get a yellow only God and Dean knows. He would have been in my book at least once.

    I am not the one to shout every time an Arsenal players falls to the ground. You can do fair challenges and bring your opponent down and not make a foul but I can tell you that in some games I really have to scratch in my grey hear and think: When does this ref is going to give a freekick to the Arsenal or are they allowed evrything ?

    And I must say that I always try to believe in the fairness of a ref, but sometimes I see things that are to much to think they are honest.

  • Rob

    Walter, you hit it right on the nozzle!
    Mike Dean is a sorry excuse for a referee. After being so openly biased in officiating last saturday, he wasn’t satisfied with that. He had to pull an even more stupid stunt like sending Arsene Wenger off in the 89th minute for KICKING A WATER BOTTLE in frustration! I must commend Arsene for showing such class in the face of outright prejudice.
    Quite rightly, I agree, the FA should take note of incidents like these and bring referees to book for bring the game into disrepute! Mike Dean should be demoted, better still, struck off. For football’s sake! We are trying to make the game more respectable, not drag it into the gutter with the actions of ignoramusses like Mike Dean. Nuff said.

  • Rob

    Walter, you hit it right on the nozzle!
    Mike Dean is a sorry excuse for a referee. After being so openly biased in officiating last saturday, he wasn’t satisfied with that. He had to pull an even more stupid stunt like sending Arsene Wenger off in the 89th minute for KICKING A WATER BOTTLE in frustration! I must commend Arsene for showing such class in the face of outright prejudice.
    Quite rightly, I agree, the FA should take note of incidents like these and bring referees to book for bringing the game into disrepute! Mike Dean should be demoted, better still, struck off. For football’s sake! We are trying to make the game more respectable, not drag it into the gutter with the actions of ignoramusses like Mike Dean. Nuff said.

  • walter

    In my country I know referees and assistants from the lowest level up to the highest level. I know old referees that have stopped for years and know young referees that are climbing to the top and maybe could be blowing at Fifa level in a few years.
    I know the mechanics and how it works to rise in the ranks of the refs.
    I know what a ref needs to do to get promoted and if he is finaly promoted to the top what he should do to stay there and what he never may do.
    But this is in my country. But deep inside of my I got a strong feeling that the situation is rather the same in England. Only the names of the clubs involved are different off course.

    I could tell you some “inside information” but this is off course not really related to the Arsenal and I don’t know if Tony would appreciate that.
    But I can tell you that family ties, arslicking (excuse me), dubious politics, good relations with some persons are very important to rise to the ranks.

  • Jonny Neale

    Davi – I don’t quite see your point regarding how far Rooney kicked the ball? Surely Almunia’s job was to get to the ball BEFORE Rooney (or at least at the same time) otherwise he should have held his ground and covered the angles – this was the crucial area of decision.

    Yes, the stats did include clean sheets and I get your point there. I would not ever say stats tell the whole story but the stats on this were actually much more comprehensive than that. I’ll see if I can find it – it made for worthwhile reading.

    Regardless of that, as someone who has a large number of football supporting friends, I think you would find yourself largely in the minority suggesting that Almunia has been up to the standard of Van der Sar or Cech over the last few years. In fact I know none of them would remotely agree – that is not to say your opinion isn’t worthwhile just I suspect their opinion would be largely reflected across most fans and pundits alike.

    It is true that Cech struggled after his return from injury but he is a massively more talented keeper than Almunia and on his day turns games. He looks very good this season. I struggle to remember more than a handful of games where Almunia has really stood out and made a difference.

  • LRV

    Walter, What a great letter? It is a shame that Mike Dean may not get to read it or may not even bother. I don’t think he has a conscience.

    I know that Arsenal can do what ManUre themselves have been known to do, protest loudly and make an almighty stink when these dubious referees are appointed to our games. The FA have been known to change referees in certain circumstances. But the Arsenal authorities are sometimes too gentlemanly for their own good. They won’t protest; only Arsene will ever subtley say something.

    The Board need David Dein (without the Usmanov rubbish of course) for his influence. Since he left the board, it has been open season on Arsenal, with everyone taking a pop at us from left to right. Whether we like to admit it or not, Dein has influence that could have stood us in some good stead, even if just a little bit.

    Once again, kudos to you for the very logical letter.

  • Davi

    Jonny – thats fine if Im in the minority, doesnt make me right or wrong. I’d say the other goalkeepers are promoted as better, and almunia came to prominence relatively late for a footballer. I hope you’ll agree almunia does make top class saves lesser keepers cant. His decision-making is sometimes questionable, but I wouldnt say it makes him particularly worse than some of the other keepers out there. Lehmann used to be like that on occasion and he was a really top keeper – which brings another interesting point. He was never really thought of as a great keeper in the media or by other fans in my experience. They promoted him as this hothead/liability at times and people seemed to take that on board.
    I’m not sure the goalkeeper Has to get to the ball first. He just has to be close enough so the player cant push the ball round him. He cant just stay on his line.
    Anyway, we’ll just have to disagree on the matter mate. If you find the story please post it.

    Walter – Interesting. You know fletcher kicked clichy in the shoulder as well and escaped a yellow. The politics thing doesnt surprise me at all to be honest. I dont know if you saw the story but apparently rafa benitez spoke once about how the united players all speak to the refs after matches and are on friendly terms – that really wouldnt surprise me based on the match. It *seemed* like whenever he spoke to one of their players hed put his arm round and just speak in a gentle manner. Like he assumed they had good intentions but were just doing something wrong. So he wouldnt book them. Its like when you play as a child and the ref was someone’s dad. But with the arsenal players theres no benefit of the doubt, its just straight in the book.
    I cant wait till wenger retires because I think hes going to reveal a lot about this.

  • Yahya yanco

    Sir Walter, mr Dean & Webb are all manchester fan. On that saturday’s game we committed seven fouls and we were booked 6 times, manchester committed more than 17 times and was booked jst 4. Fletcher the kicker diserved more than red card bt didn’t shown even white of it… This is pure robbing. Mr Dean & Webb are disgrace 2 English refferes. There shuld go and officiate champiomship games. Fools Anti ARSENAL. Gunners 4 life we are going 2 make it this time around. Foolish refs

  • notlager

    Walter,

    excellent letter.

    But may I add two other Arsenal games involving Mike Dean from last season. One was against Spurs when Eboue was sent off just 36 minutes into the game after only three fouls. The foul that got Eboue his second yellow card was complaining. Why didn’t he treat Rooney the same way last Saturday? Or Flechter who committed not three but 20 fouls but didn’t even get one yellow card.
    And do you remember the 0-0 game against ManU? If the Mancs had lost that match the battle with Liverpool for the PL crown would have gone down to the final day of the PL. In this match Dean gave Arsenal 5 yellow cards and how many against ManU? Zero. As you know ManU won the PL that day.

    For me there’s no such thing as a coincidence. And you cannot call it incompetence since Dean clearly knows what he’s doing. He punishes Arsenal for fouls he would never call against another team. How else do you explain the absurdity everytime he turns a blind eye when opposition players commit the same fouls against us?
    Mike Dean’s “officiating” is an affront to all referees who have a tough job to do. It’s difficult to be right all the time and not to misuse your power in order to make football a fairer game. But unfortunately that cannot be said of Mike Dean’s motives.

  • tim

    how can a ref involved in a betting scandal continue to have a job, let be handed big games? doesn’t that just make you sick?

  • notlager

    Walter,

    as a referee you may be interested in this documentary about match officials called “Spielverderber” which was shown in German cinemas this summer. Its title is best translated in English by “spoilsport” or “party pooper”. 🙂

    The film follows the paths of three different referees. A 14 year old boy who wants to be a referee, a 70 year old man who still runs and whistles a game every weekend and Herbert Fandel, a Fifa-referee and passionate pianist, who hopes to be selected for the next World Cup. There are really funny moments and you find yourself asking: why are they doing it to themselves? I can only recommend it not only for football fans.

    Here’s a link to the movie trailer:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucpfRzKAweM

  • Gooner in Kansas

    English football is a sewer. Sad but true. I love the Arsenal and have the utmost respect for Arsene Wenger. I hate seeing what’s happening to them from these corrupt officials and the minions of “Sir” Alex.

  • Habeeb

    Mr Walter..This is perfect and i expect more from the other referee.Why cant the Epl do something to this issue of referee.This is not the first time Mike dean will be doing this and also an english ref..Howard Web

    This is serious

  • NJIRAINE J M

    Dean should never again ref a match involving the Arsenal. The FA should also be blamed because they do not take action against erring refs. Or is the FA biased and a supporter of ManU? the FA should let us know so that other teams can stop honouring matches against ManU since the results are already predetermined.
    This is against the spirit of the good game.

  • Gf60

    Good letter. Hope he reads it somewhere. Amazing that we’re no longer at the mercy of Poll and Styles but Dean steps up to maintain their standards.
    Incidentally why is it that the gooners have such a “great” fouls to yellow card ratio? MFU 20 fouls (and counting), 3 yellows. Gooners 16 fouls, 6 yellows? These proportions seem consistent through past seasons btw.

  • walter

    Davi, in the beginning of the season the FA (in my country) calls all the refs and tell them how and what to take close attention to.
    One off the things was “elbows”.
    In the first minutes Valencia went in on Vermaelen with his elbow and a good ref should be gratefull when this happens. You blow, you call over the player and show him a card : yellow or maybe red if he really mad a bad challenge. This sets the standard for everybody on the field so the players know: ouch lets be carefull because the refs taking it seriously and dont want to get myself booked for this.
    What did Dean with Valencia ? I cant read lips but it wouldn’t have surprised me when he said something like this: “Hey Mr. Valencia would you please try to avoid these things because I really want to help you but if you launch an elbow like that I might have to book you and this could cost you dearly in the game if you make another foul or so. So lets all be friends now and dont make me force to give you a yellow card. By the way where are we going to meat after the game for a good drink ?”.

    For God sake he didn’t have to speak with him just give him a card and show that you wont tolerate the throwing of arms and elbows to an opponent.

  • walter

    Notlager,
    good that you point that out.
    some ten days ago MU played at Wigan. Some Wigan player (dont know his name) came in contact with the MU keeper because he slipped. I understand the players that want to protect their goalkeeper and some words where exchanged. Game restarted and seconds later Vidic punched at that player and hit him in the face (in the penalty box and the ball was in play if I remember correct ?) and this also was a blatant penalty and a definete red card. Punching a player in the face is always red. NO EXCUSES.
    Off course no one of the officials saw it (this is possible but… I personaly doubt it). But the Arsenal haters in MOTD all praised Coward Webb for his way in handling things and for the fact that he wanted everyone to stay on the pitch also the vere agitated Wigan player.
    Compare this to the Dean handling Eboue at Spurs situation and you see the difference. I know Eboue was behaving rather bizar that day but I a’m sure that if Dean would have put his arm around Eboue, like he does with MU players, and had a quiet word and saying: “come you stop this or I will give you your second card and I prefer not to give it but if you carry on like this I will so lets calm down and behave” then maybe Ebouw would have calmed down. But you could see that Dean was waiting his chance to give him the second yellow card.

    BTW on the the Vidic incident which wasn’t sean by the officials at the time: the Fa took no action.
    An then the Arsenal: 2 seasons ago I was at the game Arsenal-Reading and Hleb played his last game for us because after a dangerous tackle when played went on he gave a slap in the face of a Reading player. No official noticed and the FA stepped in and gave him a very justified ban of 3 games.

    So I was quite curious to see if the FA would do anyting with Vidic and I waited impaitantly, and waited, and waited …. and I am still waiting. Nothing has been said or done by the Fa and so Vidic could play against us. He should have been banned immediatly just like Hleb but you know thats the difference between Arsenal and MU.
    Just to make you sick

  • JediKnut

    Just brilliant Walter. Nicely done. Tony, thanks for re-printing his letter here.

  • prick

    Brilliant Walter. Indeed, u managed to make me sick.

  • indian_gooner2

    hey can anyone lighten up my mind about financial condn of arsenal i mean hw much debt we have to pay n all that… tony i wish u cud write an article on this subject..

  • tester

    Excellent letter Walter! You just summed up everything that has been going around in my head over the last few days!

  • Ibrahim

    I think What Dean did was total Rubbish ,This are part of the set back that cost Arsenal from Raising A Trophy for 5 season’s now ,I think the FA should do something about this , Ref Dean should be banned for sometime and should not be allowed to Officiate any Arsenal Match again.

  • kisekka

    It is anice blog.I think this incident should be the starting point to solve this problem.
    It has been along time where by winners acheated to corrupt teams like man u.I the whole thing needs investigation.
    Because, there have been alot iregulalties And thugs go away with it.

    If needs ademostration let it be.U will be suprised to find out when teams like Man u wins like juventus used forge wins. And, am just warried about the whole thing.We need justice.
    I think fifa should come up alaw wich turns down results. Because, most of the teams have fallen victims of doom for reason.

  • conrad

    well written article. thanx Walter..am one of those who was so irked with referee’s decisions on that fateful day..all the decisions were against us..is it possible for the gunners to lodge a complain again the referee so that FA can look into those fouls committed by ManU?? it pains me to loose to ManU, especially thru dubious means.during the Uefa CL, manU, outperformed us – i admit, but last sunday game, the referee was just useless and won the game for ManU. Now its the Eduardo saga, how come the likes of Ronaldo, Rooney were not banned for diving. so arsenal is always the sacrificial lamb?? God forbid & save my team.

  • i cant compare mr dean ref to any refs bcoz of stumulating mistakes yet as fifa body i cant do any thing to him the game occured last weekend btn arsenal and man united its really un profesonal mike dean wen his still carry fifa badge.

  • anaconda

    Walter, the Vidic case is dead and buried. Apparently the referee can review these incidents afterward from video and to conclude if deliberate offence took place. So, whereas most normal people would think that it was clearly violent conduct, mr. Webb did not see a deliberate offence. Which really is not a surprise, Vidic is after all a ManU player.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/aug/25/nemanja-vidic-manchester-united-wigan-clash

  • taiwo

    Well done walter good note, to me mike dean is not a ref, him and howard webb they are enemy of good football, they deny us most times look at what happen on saturday it was a bad error on his part giving us six yellow in match is ridiculous. i think the english FA sud find something to this.

  • Jerome

    I think this letter should be sent to the FA. I’d also forgive another site for plagarising this blog too.

    Great stuff Walter

  • ERENIUS NGELECHA, NAIROBI

    beautiful observation walter
    it is mouthwatering to learn that mike dean was once associated with a betting company yet FIFA and by extension FA still appoint him to officiate matches.will i be wrong to say, mike dean and FIFA/FA are accomplices in scandals like this, with aview to gaining favours from teams like manchester united?

  • mike dean is a cunt fuck face

  • Pete the First

    We all know Dean is a sh!te referee, up there with Polls of this world.

    Unfortunately his decisions shouldn’t have made a difference. Two amateur mistakes from Almunia & Diaby threw the game to the Mancs. Almunia has been poor so far this season, and Diaby has been…well Diaby. Are they good enough?

  • steww

    Yes Pete they are both excellent players – the referee cost us the match.

  • walter

    Notlager (danke schön – Sie sind von Germany ?) thanks for the link and yes you have to be a bit crazy to be a ref.
    But the feeling, like just now, when you come home from a game, and when you know you had a good game with no cards, no protests, two teams trying to play football under your guidance, two trainers who come to shake your hands in a friendly manner and congratulate you with your game (and I know when they mean it or not) and all the other officials and spectators telling you you had a good game… that feeling is something as good as s*x. 😉 well not quite in fact. So yes a bit crazy, but it has its fine moments to you know.

    Anaconda: oh what a surprise…. NOT. you ruined my good feeling but I dont blame you. I called him Coward Webb and this was excactly how we should spell his name.

  • Pete the First

    Love the reverse psychology Steww…hehehe…but my eyes they not be deceiving me…yet

  • søren frey

    The more I watch these decisions going against The Arsenal and for ManUre, the more I want video refereeing. It’s not difficult to implement these days, takes NOTHING away from the game…only makes it FAIR, which is what it should all be about.

  • GoonDerber

    You are stating the obvious. We have known about the terrible way arsenal is regularly treated by the FA, the refs and the media all through the wenger years. We have also known that up to 60% of manu’s EPL titles are gimmes from refs.

    The big question is: what are going to do about it ? what can we do about it? Until we do something about it, all the excellent articles like this one and the comments are just a waste of time.

    Can we not petition the FA, FIFA, UEFA, heck (even the UK govt) and complain about specific referees or specific incidents in matches ? We can start an online petition that I am sure will easily garner tens of thousands of signatures.

  • Norman Stanley

    If this isn ‘t published it will prove how bloody biased this site is.
    Stop your moaning, you Arsenal fans, and the writer of this so called letter, needs to learn how to write with the same tone.
    How can you call yourself a ref, if you take the liberty of going round calling other referees cheaters or refs not worthy of the badges they hold.
    Go and grow a sack, and learn that when you have UEFA (Eduardo) and FA on your side, one mistake that doesn’t go your way isn’t automatically a deliberate act of malicous intent.
    And when your French ponce of a manager refuses to abide by the laws and instructions of the referee, how can you expect to any ref to be favourable towards the gunners.

  • why you all arsenals fans don’t consider about what advantages that the referee gave to arsenal,such van persie’s goal against chelsea last season?,i still remember that,it was clearly offside.that is only one example.you all too blaming man u because they are always be a champion in england,but can you see what they did outside england? went to semifinal at 07 CL season,and later was a winner for 08 CL season,and the last was the finalist for 09 CL season,are man u need to get down and go to championship division just to prove that no scandals behind united?

  • walter

    Hi Norman, so you say as a ref I have to blind for the obvious there is to see ?
    Do you really think that there is no mechanism ? I know there are in my country. But maybe England is the only place in the world where there is no corruption and every ref is as honest as just born child ?
    And look Tony published your comment so we, if I can call it like that, or Tony is not as biased as you thought ?

  • walter

    You are right Manta that was offside.
    But do you remember the year before that Chelsea scored two goals against us where Drogba came back from an offside position to score, and for the other goal he pushed our player with both hands away and then scored.
    I’ve got other examples in my memory if you need one, or 2, or 3, 4, 5 …….

  • yes walter,i tried to be objective as i can,is these reactions same as the reactions when the gunners was an eminent contender of united in early 90?or what about 1998 when the gunners eventually led one point over united when 12 points difference before,did the referee took action behind the all 90’s arsenal’s glory? maybe the election of david gill to be a board member of fa in 2006 made an issue of scandal behind united,but look behind it,david gill just replace david dein (arsenal’s vice chairman and ex vice chairman of fa) who was sit in the fa zone since 1986,but i acknowledge that fletcher in fact did foul with his rude tackle over arshavin in lately.it should be foul..