WHELAN copyLiverpool striker Mario Ballotelli and Wigan Athletic Football Club owner Dave Whelan have both accepted that they were in the wrong after separately making offensive statements about Jews.

Italian misfit Ballotelli on Friday accepted a Football Association charge of misconduct after posting an image of computer game character Super Mario on social media site Instagram, which included the words “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.

Employing the same anti-Semitic stereotype days earlier was Whelan. He had been defending the views of his new manager Malky Mackay when he said: “Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else”. 

Whelan has also accepted FA charges and both men have apologised, with Ballotelli at pains to note that his mother is Jewish.

Yet despite saying sorry, Ballotelli was charged with an “aggravated breach” as defined by rule E3(2), because his post included a reference to ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality or religion or belief. He admitted the charge and declined a personal hearing, but is to submit written mitigation.

Likewise, an FA released a statement on Monday, saying: “We can confirm Mr Whelan has accepted the charge and has requested a non-personal hearing but no date has been set for that.”

Whelan had earlier said that if the FA “even suggest that I’m guilty, I would immediately resign from my position as chairman of Wigan Athletic”.

This week club spokesman Ed Jones refused to be drawn on whether Whelan would be true to his word and resign, saying: “It is best if nothing more was said at the moment… It really is a situation where we have to remain silent.”