Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has officially been charged by the Football Association following an investigation concerning offensive comments he made during an interview about Jewish and Chinese people.
The 78-year-old came in for heavy criticism after choosing to appoint former Cardiff City manager, Malky Mackay amid controversial circumstances.
Mackay is the subject of an ongoing investigation after he was discovered to have shared insulting text messages with former head of recruitment Iain Moody. The texts were of a sexist, racist and homophobic nature with Mackay losing out on the Crystal Palace job as a result.
According to the Cardiff City owner and Mackay’s previous employer, Vincent Tan, this is ‘a case of a racist chairman hiring a racist manager’. It’s a possibility that Tan’s comments could have had a knock on effect in Whelan’s punishment, however in an age of political correctness it comes as no surprise that Whelan has been found guilty.
His comments were of an Anti-Semitic nature as he implied that Jewish People chase money more than others, while his reference to Chinese people consisted of the use of the word ‘chink’. The FA promised to take the matter seriously after West Ham Co-Owner David Gold also voiced his concerns.
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With a punishment now on the cards it will be fascinating to see how the governing body choose to deal with Whelan. In the United States the NBA banned former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, following a string of racist comments.
Having previously been criticised for leniency on important matters, the FA could look to make an example out of the Latics chairman. It is thought that a heavy fine would suffice, considering Whelan’s lack of previous offences and swift apology.
Whelan himself claims to have been misquoted and has apologised for offending anybody. It has been suggested that the comments could be a result of generation differences, yet Whelan should prepare for the worst as the FA must decide the severity of his punishment.
Whelan has previously claimed that if he were to be found guilty he would resign as chairman of Wigan Athletic. With that being the case, it remains to be seen if he is a man of his word.