Wigan duo ‘must be treated equally’


Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley has called for consistency in how Wigan chairman Dave Whelan and his new manager Malky Mackay’s cases are handled by the Football Association.

Mackay was recruited by Wigan despite being under investigation by the Football Association for allegedly sending racist and anti-semitic texts while manager of Cardiff.

Whelan defended the Scot, telling The Guardian “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else” and adding that he did not view the word ”chink” – the term by which Mackay allegedly referred to Cardiff’s Malaysian chairman Vincent Tan in a text message – as offensive.

While the FA pledged to investigate Whelan’s comments as “a priority”, the investigation into Mackay has been complicated by the fact his remarks were made in private messages rather than in the public domain.

But Lord Ouseley told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “I think the Football Association has to clarify how it’s going to deal with private texts that reveal information.

“If a text revealed something that could be affecting how we deal with the safety of youngsters in football, or indeed it may reveal something to do with, say, match-fixing, w ould they say, ‘because it’s private we can’t touch it’? I would hope not.

“They’re not saying that (in this case) but they’re very reluctant to come out decisively and say what their position is. They’re in a very difficult position but they’ve got to resolve that, it’s very important that they do so.

“You have to be consistent and if information comes out that’s going to affect the credibility of the game, they can’t ignore it.

“If you are a leader and you do something, however private, if it gets out into the open and it affects and throws up questions about how your attitude – as reflected in the views you’re expressing privately – may affect how you deal with people from different backgrounds, you cannot ignore that.”

Regarding Whelan, who said on Saturday he will resign immediately should the FA even suggest he is guilty of racism, Lord Ouseley said: “The FA have already said that they are investigating. One of the things we’re being very careful about is to make sure the integrity of the processes of investigation are protected by not making direct comment that could prejudice those proceedings.”

Pressed on whether Whelan is a “fit and proper” person to run a football club, he added: “I don’t make those decisions.

“We have a responsibility to protect processes and I think the process has been affected by the actions taken by Dave Whelan with regards to the appointment, but that’s a matter that’s under investigation.

“Those comments, as expressed publicly, are interesting ones for people like myself but I think they’re ones that are going to have to be left there for the FA to make a judgement on.”

Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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