Wigan chairman Whelan resigns after 20 years at the helm

Dave Whelan has stepped down as chairman of Wigan Athletic after 20 years.

The 78-year-old will continue as owner but his grandson, David Sharpe, will oversee the running of the club.

In December he was banned from any football-related activity for six weeks and fined £50,000 for making racist comments during a newspaper interview.

He said: “I am approaching 80 years old and spend an increasingly long time abroad, and cannot make it to games. It is a decision I have been mulling over for some years and I believe David is now ready.

“Contrary to some suggestions, there are no plans to sell the club, which will remain in family hands and I have every confidence that David, along with chief executive Jonathan Jackson, will lead us forwards with wisdom.

“I would like to say huge thank you to the board of directors, all the staff at the club, and of course the wonderful supporters of Wigan Athletic, who have helped make the journey over the past 20 years such an exciting and memorable one.”

Prior to his punishment for the comments Whelan did say that he would resign as chairman if he was “found guilty of being a racist”.

When Whelan bought the club in 1995, Wigan were bottom of the fourth division but they then won three promotions over the next decade to reach the Premier League where they stayed for eight consecutive seasons.

He steps down as chairman of the club with the Latics in 23rd place in the Championship, nine points from safety with 12 games left to play. 

Main image courtesy of ITV via YouTube, with thanks.

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