Statement on Whelan’s ‘Apology’

Yesterday Dave Whelan, owner of Wigan FC, insulted the Jewish community during an interview with the Guardian newspaper.

Mr Whelan has now said, “I have loads of Chinese friends and I would never ever insult the Chinese. I’d never ever ever insult a Jewish person. I hold them in the highest regard.”

David Gold (West Ham Chair), has said, “I’m pleased to hear that Dave Whelan has apologised, it was a most unfortunate comment.”

The Board is not satisfied with Mr Whelan’s response.

Vice President of the Board Jonathan Arkush said:  “Wigan Chair Dave Whelan’s bigoted and racist comments about Jews are outrageous and offensive, and bring the club and the game in to disrepute. His half-hearted apology does not go far enough. You cannot insult a whole group of people, and then say, ‘I would never insult them’, and hope that’s OK. We need to see a proper apology and full recognition of the offence caused. Whelan, in his role as Chair of a football club, has a responsibility to set the tone for both his players and supporters. Racism and antisemitism will prevail on and off the pitch if it’s acceptable and unchallenged in the boardroom’. We will be taking up the matter with the Football Association and Kick It Out.”

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