Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has been charged by the Football Association over anti-Semitic remarks he allegedly made in response to criticism of the decision to appoint Malky Mackay as manager.
The 77-year-old publicly apologised for comments attributed to him in the Guardian and strongly denied making any racist jibes, while also suggesting he was misquoted.
However, an FA statement read: “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 is under investigation by the Football Association for alleged racism and anti-Semitism over his email and text conversations with staff members while in charge of Cardiff City.
In one, Mackay describes the club’s Malaysian owner as a “chink” and in another he refers to the Jewish football agent, Phil Smith, saying: “Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.”
Whelan, the multi-millionaire former owner of JJB Sports, said he didn’t think that was offensive because Mackay was only reflecting that Jewish people “love money” like everybody does.
He added: “The Jews don’t like losing money. Nobody likes losing money.” Asked whether this was offensive, because the claim that Jews “love money” has been used as a negative stereotype, Whelan said: “Do you think Jewish people chase money a little bit more than we do? I think they are very shrewd people.”
Asked whether he really believed that, Whelan added: “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don’t think that’s offensive at all.”