Vincent Tan accuses Dave Whelan and Malky Mackay of being racist

Vincent Tan
Vincent Tan sacked Malky Mackay as manager of Cardiff City

Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has accused Wigan counterpart Dave Whelan of being "a racist".

The Malaysian businessman criticised Whelan for using derogatory comments about Jews and the word "chink" in an interview with a national newspaper.

Whelan has denied being racist, but Tan said: "I think he insulted the dignity of all Jewish people. I think he insulted the dignity of Chinese."

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Tan also hit out at former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay.

The Scot was appointed as Wigan boss this week but is still under investigation by the Football Association following allegations he made racist, sexist and homophobic comments in text messages and emails sent while he was in charge of Cardiff.

Mackay has apologised and denied being racist, but Tan, who sacked the 42-year-old last year amid acrimonious circumstances, leading to a legal dispute, thinks the decision to make him Wigan manager is a mistake.

Football Association statement
"The FA is very concerned to read about the comments that have been attributed to Dave Whelan. We take all forms of discrimination seriously. As with all such cases, this will be dealt with as a priority. The investigation is already under way and The FA's Governance Division have written to Mr Whelan. He has three working days to respond."

"This is a racist chairman hiring a racist manager," Tan told BBC Sport's David Ornstein. "I hope that stops at two racists in Wigan, not snowballing to 2,000 or 20,000 racists in Wigan."

Tan also said there are more revelations to come surrounding Mackay's time at Cardiff.

"Mr Whelan and Wigan do not know yet what more is coming for this man they have just hired," he said. "They will, I believe, regret hiring him."

Both Whelan and Mackay have refused to respond to Tan's comments.

But Whelan has apologised for remarks he made in an interview with The Guardian, although he has insisted he was misquoted and did not intend any racial slight.

The newspaper reported that the 77-year-old used the word "chink" and also said that "Jewish people chase money more than everybody else".

"If I have upset one person, I apologise," said Whelan.

"All I was trying to say was that Jewish people are very similar to the English people in the desire to work hard and get money. I didn't think I did anything wrong in that."

Steve Bruce, the Hull City manager who twice worked under Whelan at Wigan, has also defended his former employer.

"I know him very, very well," said Bruce. "There's no racism in him at all.

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"Sometimes words can be said which can be misplaced, they can be out there in the public domain, but certainly when I've worked with him there's been no sign of racism."

Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson, a former FA and Premier League executive, says Whelan should withdraw his comments.

"For somebody in a leadership position in football, like Dave Whelan, to make such comments that effectively re-ignite a very old, revolting racial stereotype is offensive not just to Jewish people but to anybody who wants to see racism kicked out of football completely," he told BBC Sport.

"I have no doubt that he did not intend to be offensive. The problem is that he was."

The FA issued a statement on Friday saying it had opened an investigation into Whelan's comments.

"The FA is very concerned to read about the comments that have been attributed to Dave Whelan," it read.

"We take all forms of discrimination seriously. As with all such cases, this will be dealt with as a priority.

"The investigation is already under way and The FA's Governance Division have written to Mr Whelan. He has three working days to respond."

Anti-racism campaigner Kick It Out has already questioned whether Whelan is a "fit and proper person" to run a football club.

Tan agrees with Kick It Out.

"Age doesn't matter in this," he said. "The fact is he's a leader of a big football club, he's sending the wrong message to the followers and supporters in the club, he's telling them it's all right to be a racist.

"Do you think that is proper? So I am asking whether he is fit and proper to be chairman of a football club in the UK for what he has said."

Asked if he though Whelan should be removed from his position, Tan responded: "I think the FA should take action, but I'll leave it to the FA."

Vincent Tan on possible FA action
"I think the world is watching what the FA will do. Will it be a regulator on football matters with teeth or a toothless regulator?"

Tan says he hopes English football's governing body "considers carefully" the cases of both Mackay and Whelan.

Tan also says Whelan is wrong to have hired Mackay before the FA's investigation into the Scot is complete.

"Appointing Malky Mackay is not good for Wigan's image and for Mr Whelan's image, in view of the fact that the FA is investigating this and no decision has been made yet," said Tan.

He is also concerned that Whelan seems to think the FA are unlikely to take action against Mackay.

"If that is true and if the FA is taking this matter lightly, I must say I am very disappointed," said Tan. "The FA must understand that the whole world is watching."

Tan cited the recent case in the United States involving Donald Sterling, the former owner of basketball team the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sterling was forced to sell the club by the National Basketball Association after making racist comments to his reported girlfriend.

"I think the world is watching what the FA will do," said Tan. "Will it be a regulator on football matters with teeth or a toothless regulator?"

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