Wigan chairman Dave Whelan landed himself in hot water last night after claiming the word "chink" is not a derogatory term and "Jewish people chase money more than everybody else".
Whelan was speaking as the fallout from his decision to appoint Malky Mackay as Wigan manager led to one of the club’s shirt sponsors severing ties with the club.
Mackay was confirmed as the Championship club’s new boss on Wednesday despite an ongoing FA investigation into racist, sexist and homophobic text messages he sent during his time as Cardiff manager.
The move has caused controversy and kitchen firm Premier Range, who sponsors the back of Latics’ shirts, announced it is ending its association with the club because it feels its position is “untenable”.
A statement from the company said: “The texts Mr Mackay has admitted to sending are wholly unacceptable — and the thoughts expressed within them are a shocking reminder of a past we thought football had left behind. A team that would employ a man who expresses views such these is not the kind of team Premier Range wish to deal with.”
Whelan, though, appeared to suggest there was little offensive in the texts Mackay sent referring to Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan as a “chink” and about Jewish football agent Phil Smith.
“If any Englishman said he has never called a Chinaman a chink he is lying,” Whelan told The Guardian.
“There is nothing bad about doing that. It is like calling the British Brits, or the Irish paddies.”
Whelan added: “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don’t think that’s offensive at all.”
Whelan also claimed he had been told by senior figures “nothing will come” of the FA’s investigation.
That drew a robust defence from the governing body, who issued a statement saying contrary to some reports no decision had been taken about the outcome of the investigation.
It read: “We wish to make it clear the FA investigation into the conduct of Malky Mackay and Iain Moody is ongoing. No assurances have been given by the FA who are still investigating whether these messages indicate a culture in which other acts of a discriminatory nature may have taken place.”
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