LONDON: Wigan owner Dave Whelan has said he will resign as chairman of the second division club if the Football Association punishes him for derogatory descriptions of Jewish and Chinese people in a newspaper interview.
Wigan, 77, came in for initial criticism after appointing Malky Mackay as manager. Mackay faces an FA inquiry into racist and anti-semitic language in SMS messages and emails while manager of Cardiff last year.
Mackay has replaced Uwe Rosler who was sacked after a run of one win in 12 games saw Wigan drop into the relegation zone.
Whelan, questioned about the appointment of Mackay, said: “I’m against racism of any description,” but then was reported by The Guardian as saying: “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else.”
He also said he did not view the word ‘Chink’ – the term by which Mackay allegedly referred to Cardiff owner Vincent Tan – as offensive.
Whelan later apologised, denied being racist or anti-semitic and added: “Should the FA even suggest I’m guilty I would immediately resign from my position as chairman of Wigan Athletic.”
He broke down in tears after being cheered by fans during Saturday’s 1:1 draw with Middlesbrough. Not in doubt is the fact that Wigan would not have risen to a spell in the Premier League and an FA Cup win without Whelan’s financial support.