Former referee and head of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) has spoken out on the disgraceful abuse aimed at Mike Dean.
The Premier League referee is one of the most famous match officials in the country at the moment, but he’s been forced to drop out of upcoming matches due to him and his family receiving death threats.
When asked about this worrying issue, Hackett was understandably unimpressed, and says he’s previously urged referees to stay off social media.
He also defended Dean and described him as a great character in the game, and that’s certainly hard to argue with.
“Sadly this is not uncommon and I used to advise referees to come off social media,” Hackett told CaughtOffside.
“David Elleray had a panic button installed at Harrow School after receiving threats. Howard Webb after awarding a last minute penalty kick against Poland was threatens by the President of the country. That resulted in his colleagues at Rotherham Police arranging protection for his family.
“The other scenario is that sadly we do have on occasions referees at grassroots physically assaulted resulted in them having to go to hospital.
“Mike Dean is one of our most experienced officials and human. Humans make mistakes.
“Mike is a character and he was excellent to manage when I brought him onto the list. He is a very good referee, and dropped in it by a VAR Mason.”