Tomas Soucek red card: Petition to sack Mike Dean emerges after Fulham vs West Ham drama

  • Kobe Tong
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Mike Dean was at the centre of controversy during Fulham 0-0 West Ham United.

In what would ordinarily look like a pretty nondescript result at Craven Cottage, there was drama in stoppage time as Tomáš Souček was harshly sent off for an 'elbow' on Aleksandar Mitrović.

Let's just say there's a reason that we put the word 'elbow' in quotation marks because to say that the Hammers' star man deserved a red card would be a ham-fisted statement in itself.

Soucek dismissed vs Fulham

But rather inexplicably, both Dean and VAR Lee Mason agreed that Souček should be given his marching orders, leaving the Czech midfielder to face a potential three-match ban.

Well, that's how things stand at the moment with West Ham later coming out on Sunday to claim that they will be appealing the red card decision.

The club wrote in an official statement: "West Ham United have submitted notice to The Football Association to appeal the red card Tomáš Souček was shown in Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Fulham.

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"Referee Mike Dean was asked to look at the incident on the pitchside monitor by VAR official Lee Mason and decreed that the No28’s actions constituted violent conduct."

Mike Dean under fire

The situation is made all the more farcical by the fact Souček later confirmed on Twitter that Mitrović himself had considered the coming together to be 'fair' as opposed to worthy of a dismissal.

That, and the fact Dean's decision to send Souček for an early bath comes just days after the Tranmere Rovers-supporting official had another judgment call of his retrospectively chalked off.

Dean's move to send off Southampton's Jan Bednarek during the 9-0 defeat to Manchester United was the subject of a U-turn by the Football Association earlier in the month. 

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So, it would be fair to say that Dean isn't in the good books of Premier League fans right now and certain supporters have taken that further than others in the wake of the Souček decision.

Petition to sack Mike Dean

In fact, one fan even went as far as creating a petition on change.org to 'Have Mike Dean sacked as a Premier League ref', attracting more than 3,400 signatures at the time of writing.

The description - penned by 'Ethan Webster' - reads: "The guy clearly doesn't understand the game anymore. Soucek red card was embarrassing, as was his performance against Southampton.

"It's always all about him, will ruin the game if he's allowed to keep reffing."

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And it's fair to say they're not alone in that opinion with many supporters not only voting with their feet, but also their mouths, taking to the comments section to pen their criticisms of Dean.

GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

Now, I'd love to sit here wearing some glacially-thick, rose-tinted glasses and tell you that the Dean petition is just a bit of banter created for a laugh.

But truth be told, given the explicit criticism in both the descriptions and comments, there's good reason to think that there's a genuine hatred brewing for the Premier League's most enigmatic ref.

However, claiming that Dean should be sacked is nothing short of hyperbole and frankly, a little bit distasteful in a period where jobs are being lost on a regular basis given the global situation.

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But does that mean that Dean can be absolved of all criticism? Absolutely not and perhaps the solution does lie in some sort of break from the Premier League or a deeper review into the decisions.

Then again, that's a decision of such complexity in itself that you'd probably need VAR too and look where that's gotten us...

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