SHEFFIELD UNITED have brought in the police over “cowardly, disgusting and inhumane” online abuse of their players.
Blades boss Chris Wilder demanded the guilty are ‘nailed’, insisting: “No one should be able to get away with it.”
Wilder’s plea follows death threats to ref Mike Dean after sending off Tomas Soucek in West Ham’s weekend Prem draw with Fulham — and racist abuse of a number of top-flight stars this season, including Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford.
Dean, 52, has had his request not to ref a Prem game at weekend granted.
And ahead of tonight’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Bristol City, Wilder said: “I’m not going to talk about it in detail but there’s ongoing stuff at our club with the police and they’ve been brilliant dealing with it.
“There’s a line and it’s been stepped over. Mike Dean is an honourable ref and a decent guy. These guys are doing their best.
“They don’t deserve it. It’s disgusting, the individuals need nailing and I wish I could nail them in my way but I won’t be allowed to.
“We’ve all been subjected to abuse and it’s cowardly, disgusting and inhumane. It isn’t football and it isn’t life.”
Dean takes charge of tonight’s FA Cup tie between Leicester and Brighton but will be rested this weekend.
Refereeing chief Mike Riley offered Dean his full support.
And Premier League supremo Richard Masters said threats to Dean and his family were “inexcusable” and called for “greater proactive intervention” from social media companies.
Ref Lee Mason has been taken out of the firing line and put on fourth official duty for the next ten days.
Mason was criticised by Southampton during their defeat to Aston Villa and was on VAR duty to recommend Dean send off Soucek on Saturday.
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