Dave Whelan’s future as Wigan chairman is in question after he was charged by the FA over comments about Chinese and Jewish people.
The 78-year-old allegedly made remarks at the centre of the FA investigation in response to criticism of the club’s decision to appoint Malky Mackay as Wigan’s new manager.
Whelan said he would resign if the FA “even suggest I’m guilty” of making racist remarks, while publicly apologising for comments attributed to him in The Guardian and also suggesting he may have been misquoted.
An FA statement 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.”
Mackay’s arrival at the DW Stadium caused controversy due to the Scot being the subject of an investigation into reported racist and anti-Semitic texts sent while he was in charge of Cardiff City.
The Guardian 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 claimed that “Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else”.
Whelan was branded “a racist” by Cardiff owner Vincent Tan in the fallout from the controversy.
In response, Whelan said: “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 as chairman of Wigan Athletic.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews welcomed the FA announcement on Whelan’s charge, with its vice-president Jonathan Arkush saying in a statement: “We commend the FA for acting quickly and decisively, sending out a message to players and supporters that racist and divisive language of the kind that Whelan has used will not be tolerated either on or off the pitch. ”
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