Dave Whelan’s future as Wigan chairman was placed in question last night after he was charged by the Football Association over remarks 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 last week 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 yesterday 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 earlier this month 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.
Among those to question the move to hire Mackay was the club’s local MP Lisa Nandy.
She revealed she had received complaints from constituents over the issue.
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 fall-out from the controversy.
Whelan told ITV News at the time: “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.”
The FA last week said investigation into Mackay’s actions during his Cardiff tenure is ongoing.