FA suspends and fines Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan for insensitive remarks


Dave Whelan, the chairman of Championship squad Wigan Athletic, has been suspended from all soccer-related activity for six weeks based on certain offensive remarks made during an interview.

The former Blackburn Rovers full-back will be fined £50,000 ($77,934), and he accepted a “racially-aggravated misconduct” charge from the English FA, which also ordered him to take a course that focuses on such behavior.

Whelan can appeal or accept the sanctions in the next seven days, and if he takes these penalties, they will begin immediately. Otherwise, he would undergo an appeal process that would hold off the effects of these restrictions.

When Malkay Mackay was appointed as manager, questions regarding the conduct of the former Cardiff City boss arose, due to accusations against him for sending illicit text messages to Iain Moody.

[RELATED: Mackay hired at Wigan despite text messages]

Whelan, in an attempt to defend his new boss, said “Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else.” He also later stated that it was “nothing to call a Chinese person a chink”, per The Guardian.

[RELATED: Wigan chairman attempts to apologize, offends Chinese in process]

A statement on the FA website read:

“Dave Whelan has been suspended from all football and football activity for six weeks, subject to any appeal, following an independent regulatory commission.

“It was alleged Mr Whelan breached FA Rule E3[1] in that comments made to the media were abusive and/or insulting and/or constituted improper conduct and/or brought the game into disrepute.

“It was further alleged that this was an ‘aggravated breach’ as defined by FA Rule E3[2] as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.

“The commission will publish full written reasons within the next 24 hours. An appeal must be lodged within seven days from receipt of the written reasons.”

After a career as a soccer player, Whelan gained his wealth through his acquisition of a Wigan fishing and sports store called JJ Bradburns, which he renamed JJB Sports and expanded into UK’s second largest sports retailer.