Former Premier League official turned full-time Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason has departed his role, the PMGOL has confirmed.
The decision was made due to Mason’s grave error last weekend when Brentford was incorrectly given a goal against Arsenal.
“PGMOL can confirm that Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason has left the organization by mutual consent,” said the statement.
“Lee worked as a Premier League referee for 15 years, officiating 287 games in the top division, the last of which took place in the final weeks of the 2021–22 season.”
“The 51-year-old referee, who advanced to the Football League in 1998, officiated in more than 500 games throughout his professional career.”
“We want to express our gratitude to Lee for his selfless devotion to the professional game and our best wishes for the future.”
Lee Mason will no longer officiate in the Premier League after leaving PGMOL by mutual consent.
The Video Assistant Referee was responsible for an offside error in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Brentford. pic.twitter.com/t7U8jODv6L
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 17, 2023
What has happened?
During his time on the field, Mason served as the man in the middle for close to 300 games in the top flight.
After leaving the field, Mason became a full-time VAR official, but managers have frequently accused him of doing a poor job in both positions. He has also been frequently removed from weekend games due to errors.
Most recently, Mikel Arteta accused 51-year-old Mason of “not conceptualizing and knowing your job” after the 51-year-old failed to detect an offside during the buildup to a goal by Brentford, stating it was “not acceptable” that the score hadn’t been disallowed.
PGMOL referred to the choice as a “human error,” and chief referee Howard Webb formally apologized to Arsenal for the error that cost them crucial points in the title race.
Mason was removed from the list of referees earlier in the season in September after incorrectly disallowing a goal for Newcastle.
Keith Hackett, a former referee and the head of PGMOL, had demanded Mason’s dismissal and noted that he was a “serial offender” when it came to glaring errors.
He leaves on a more permanent basis today after Premier League referees’ director Howard Webb convened a midweek meeting in response to last week’s mistakes. Webb has vowed to raise the standard of officiating in the league.
Now that Webb wants to reestablish trust in the decision-making process and bring credibility to the VAR function, Mason has paid for those mistakes with his job.