Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has accepted a Football Association misconduct charge over comments he made regarding Jewish and Chinese people and has requested a non-personal hearing.
The Guardian interviewed Whelan in the wake of his decision to appoint Malky Mackay as the club’s new manager, at a time when the Scot was the subject of an investigation into reported racist and anti-Semitic texts sent while he was in charge of Cardiff.
The newspaper claimed that when asked about Mackay’s past indiscretions, Whelan replied by saying it was ”nothing” to call a Chinese person a ”chink”. Whelan was also reported to have stated: ”Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else.”
The FA said in a statement released on Monday: “We can confirm Mr Whelan has accepted the charge and has requested a non-personal hearing but no date has been set for that.”
Whelan has indicated he would resign if the FA even suggested he was guilty of using racist language.
He told ITV News last month: “If the FA look into my affairs and they were to find me guilty, which I hope they don’t – and I don’t see anything like that happening because I’m absolutely anti-racist, always have been, always will be - however, if they have any questions I’m willing to answer it and should they even suggest I’m guilty, I would immediately resign from my position as chairman of Wigan Athletic.”
In charging Whelan on November 27, the FA said: “It is alleged the Wigan Athletic chairman breached FA Rule E3 in that his comments were abusive and/or insulting and/or constitute improper conduct and/or bring the game into disrepute.
”It is further alleged that this is an ’aggravated breach’ as defined by FA Rule E3 as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.”
The FA is still investigating a series of texts sent between Mackay and the former head of recruitment at Cardiff, Iain Moody which it is alleged were discriminatory in nature. It has been reported that the FA may not be able to act against Mackay, should the texts be deemed as private correspondence.
Cardiff owner Vincent Tan was hugely critical of Whelan’s decision to appoint Mackay as successor to Uwe Rosler, telling BBC Sport that it was a case of a “racist chairman hiring a racist manager”.
Both Whelan and Mackay strongly deny that they are racist.