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Whelan: 'The time has come to hand over the reins'

Dave Whelan has resigned as chairman of Wigan Athletic and appointed his 23 year-old grandson, David Sharpe, as his successor.

In a statement Mr Whelan said:

“The time has now come to hand over the reins. 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.

“In making this announcement, 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.”

– Dave Whelan

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Dave Whelan steps down as Wigan Athletic chairman

Dave Whelan Credit: Press Association

Wigan Athletic have confirmed that Chairman Dave Whelan has resigned his position as Chairman of the football club, with immediate effect.

In a statement on the club's website they announced Mr Whelan’s grandson David Sharpe will take over the role.

Last year Dave Whelan was fined £50,000 by the Football Association and banned from all football activity for six weeks following remarks he made regarding Jewish and Chinese people.

Wigan sign former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant

Jermaine Pennant Credit: Dave Howarth/EMPICS Sport

Former Liverpool and Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant has signed a deal with injury-hit Sky Bet Championship side Wigan until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old last played in England on New Year's Day in 2014 and was a free agent having recently returned from a stint in the Indian Super League.

Pennant trained with Wigan last week and was in attendance at the DW Stadium on Friday night as their worrying form continued in a 3-0 loss to Charlton which leaves them deep in the relegation mire.

Wigan boss Malky Mackay has recently lost Emyr Huws and Chris Herd to season-ending injuries, while William Kvist and Leon Clarke were also forced off with problems against Charlton, meaning Pennant bolsters a squad lacking numbers.

Pennant has had a nomadic career across the divisions having also featured for the likes of Arsenal, Leeds, Birmingham and Wolves, while he also spent time in Spain with Real Zaragoza.

He played all 90 minutes in the 2007 Champions League final with Liverpool as they went down 2-1 to AC Milan in Athens.

"Jermaine needs no introduction in terms of what he has achieved in the game," Mackay told Wigan's official website.

"He's got terrific experience and is hungry for a way back into the English scene. There were a number of clubs interested, so we are delighted we can now call upon him to help us.

"He has been with us throughout the week and has trained excellently, he's brought a breath of fresh air to the place and we've been bowled over by his hunger and enthusiasm.

"Jermaine has integrated straight away into the group and I'm sure he's going to be a great addition for us."

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Dave Whelan accepts he brought game into disrepute

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has accepted the FA's charges following alleged racist comments. His fate will be decided before Christmas.

Wigan players to "go halves" with fans for Boxing Day tickets

Wigan Athletic's announced plans for the players to spread Christmas cheer and ’go halves’ on tickets for the Boxing Day match at Leeds.

The Latics players have agreed to cover half the cost of the first 500 away tickets sold in advance for the game at Elland Road.

Leeds have made the match a Category A fixture, with tickets charged at £36 for advanced sales, and £41 on the day.

Concession for over 60s, Under 21s are £24 in advance or £29 on the day and Under 16s are £18 both in advance or on the day.

It comes after many fans complained about the prices but the club says the price of tickets for away matches is out of its control.

“Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone, especially football fans and we want to show our appreciation to the fans who follow us week in week out by making this gesture.

"To have the fans behind us is a massive boost for the players and we know that we haven’t been able to give them as much back this season as we want. If this helps to get them to Elland Road and give us their support then we are glad we can help.”

– Club captain Gary Caldwell

PM 'must give up' Whelan donations

David Cameron is under pressure to give up £1.5 million in donations from businessman Dave Whelan amid allegations of racist comments by the Wigan Athletic chairman.

Labour backbencher Karl Turner has written to the Prime Minister urging him to condemn the remarks and hand the money to charity.

Mr Whelan became emboiled in the row as he tried to defend his decision to employ Malky Mackay as the club's manager, despite a Football Association investigation into claims he sent anti-semitic messages to a friend while in charge at Cardiff.

The 77-year-old former JJB Sport boss is said to have told the Guardian: "The Jews don't like losing money ... I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else".

He also reportedly argued there was "nothing bad" about referring to Chinese people as "Chinks".

Mr Whelan has apologised for causing offence, and suggested he had been misquoted.

But in a letter to Mr Cameron, Mr Turner said: "David Whelan is a significant donor to the Conservative Party, and has donated £1.5 million since 2007.

"His most recent donation of £100,000 was received by the Conservative Party on the August 2 2014.

"Given his status as a significant contributor to your re-election efforts you must now make it clear if you personally condone or condemn these comments.

"I hope that you agree with me that these anti-Semitic and racist comments have no place in modern British society, and as such I hope that you also agree with me that you must now give up any money that you have received from Mr Whelan and consider which charitable groups would be better recipients of it.

"Failure to act swiftly in this matter will show a lack of leadership. It will not be possible for you to simultaneously condemn offensive remarks while accepting large sums of money from those responsible for them."

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