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Wigan chairman: 'Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else'

Dave Whelan also claimed the word “chink” was not offensive in an interview with The Guardian.

Wigan Athletic's new manager Malky Mackay and Chairman Dave Whelan (left) during a press conference at the DW Stadium.
Wigan Athletic's new manager Malky Mackay and Chairman Dave Whelan (left) during a press conference at the DW Stadium.

WIGAN CHAIRMAN DAVE Whelan has been accused of anti-semitism following controversial comments in an interview with The Guardian.

Whelan defended his appointment of manager Malky Mackay, who was previously also alleged to have made anti-semitic remarks via a series of mobile phone text messages.

In the interview with the paper, Whelan defended Mackay’s remarks, saying Jewish people “love money”.

“Do you think Jewish people chase money a little bit more than we do?” he asked. “I think they are very shrewd people.

“I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don’t think that’s offensive at all.”

He also claimed the word “chink,” which Mackay also used, is not offensive and said he used it to describe Chinese people when he was young.

“If any Englishman said he has never called a Chinaman a chink he is lying,” the multimillionaire ex-owner of JJB Sports added. “There is nothing bad about doing that. It is like calling the British Brits, or the Irish paddies.”

A Chinese community leader, Jenny Wong, has since responded to Whelan’s comments, saying:

“I remember at school in the 70s a skinhead kicking me, calling me ‘chinky, chinky’. It has stopped now; things have changed for the better. We have legal protection against racism and that is important; it is not political correctness. As a football manager, this man should not have said it.”

Meanwhile, Wigan lost one of their shirt sponsors as the fall-out from the controversial appointment of manager Mackay continued on Thursday.

Mackay was hired by Wigan just three months after the Football Association revealed they were investigating text messages, sent during his spell in charge at Cardiff, which he admitted were “disrespectful of other cultures”.

With Mackay back in management so soon after being accused of racist, sexist and homophobic comments, the FA has been urged to come to a conclusion on the matter by anti-discrimination body Kick It Out, who issued a statement in which they also accused Wigan of “disregarding the investigation”.

Whelan was also criticised by local MP Lisa Nandy in an open letter last week.

And the row shows no signs of abating after Kitchen firm Premier Range, which carries a logo on the back of the Championship club’s kit, dropped their sponsorship.

“Unfortunately, their recent appointment of Malky Mackay has put us in a position that we find untenable,” the Lancashire-based company said in a statement on the BBC’s website.

“Mr Mackay is currently under investigation by the FA for sending text messages that are at odds with the general ethos here at Premier Range — and, it would seem, Cardiff and QPR feel the same as us.

“The texts Mr Mackay has admitted to sending are wholly unacceptable — and the thoughts expressed within them are a shocking reminder of a past we thought football had left behind.

“A team that would employ a man who expresses views such these is not the kind of team Premier Range wish to deal with.”

Additional reporting by AFP

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Paul Fennessy

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