The PGMOL suspended Mike Dean for his involvement with a betting website in 2005 so why are the FA banning Arsene Wenger for questioning his integrity?

The Guardian reported back in 2005 that Mike Dean was suspended by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd indefinitely.

Officials launched an investigation into the referee due to his involvement with Arbitros Racing, a betting website.

A spokesperson said at the time: “Mike Dean has been suspended indefinitely. He is a public figure, and certain standards are expected of him. People here have looked at what he is doing.

“The board will now investigate whether Mike Dean has breached his employment contract with PGMO [sic], which requires officials to notify and seek approval of various other activities – including additional employment or the use of their status as a PGMO [sic] official for promotional purposes.

“The board has taken this prompt action to protect all parties concerned, and it is right that Mike Dean should not officiate until this matter is resolved to the board’s satisfaction.”

The FA dropped Dean from his scheduled match between Newcastle and Bolton, while the investigation took place.

The main thrust of the investigation centred around the then 36-year-old using his status as a well known figure in football to gain a financial advantage with the betting site.

Specifically, the BBC wrote that he advertised the business partnership in the Racing Post.

The referee did not inform PGMOL of the venture before starting it.

PGMOL concluded Dean had breached his employment contract. They suspended him until the end of the season, and told him to end his links with the website.

The Guardian reported that they found he abused his profile for financial gain. The next season, the referee returned to his role with the Premier League.

Wenger’s touchline ban

Now, Arsene Wenger is serving a three-match touchline ban, because he “questioned the integrity” of the referee.

That’s the wording the Football Association used to describe Wenger’s offence.

It seems bizarre that the FA are banning the Arsenal manager for questioning the integrity of a man who PGMOL suspended for abusing his profile for financial gain and breaching his contract.

To me, it would be strange to assume someone with that background did have integrity.

Plus, the referee had just made an extremely poor decision that was very difficult to explain.

There was no way Chambers could’ve moved his hand out of the way of Gibbs’ kick. Earlier in the season, Arsenal didn’t receive a penalty from Dean for a very similar incident.

It’s hard to explain the two incidents involving the same referee, in the same season and with the same team, without implying bias.

But I guess Wenger has no choice but to accept his punishment and move on at this stage.