Wigan boss Dave Whelan has again apologised for any offence caused by alleged anti-Semitic remarks attributed to him - but caused further outrage by referring to Chinese people as “chingalings”.
The under-fire football club owner was attempting to show support for the Jewish community - in an interview with the Jewish Telegraph – when the gaffe occurred.
Whelan is currently under investigation by the FA for comments he made last month as he attempted to justify his decision to hire Malky Mackay (himself under investigation for alleged racism and anti-Semitism, including use of the word "chink" in a text message.)
At the time, Whelan reportedly told The Guardian: “Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don't think that's offensive at all” and used the term “chink” to refer to Chinese people.
The 78-year-old followed this up by defensively telling Sky Sports News: “I have got hundreds and hundreds of Jewish friends ... I have got loads of Chinese friends," and claimed the reported remarks could be "a misquote or, on that day, I must have done 50 interviews."
He added: “I did not mean to insult any single person but please accept my sincere apology if they feel that way. It was not intended.”
In a further attempt at damage control, on Friday Whelan told the Jewish Telegraph: “I apologise profusely to anyone who has taken offence because I would never offend the Jewish community under any circumstances.
“I have nothing but respect for them. They’re hard-working people, they’re honest people. They fight for what they believe in.
“There’s nobody could knock the Jewish community. For them to accuse me of that, it hurts me a lot.
“Never have I made anti-Jewish comments. We have always, always respected what the Jewish people did, especially through the war.
“We’ve always respected how those Jewish [people] stood up to every single thing they were put through, torture, horrendous."
Whelan continued: “When I was growing up we used to call the Chinese ‘chingalings’. We weren’t being disrespected [sic]. We used to say: ‘We’re going to eat in chingalings.’
“The Chinese weren’t offended by that. That was the name everyone in Wigan called [the first Chinese café in Wigan].
Whelan had earlier explained his use of the word “chink” in his original interview with the Guardian: "If any Englishman said he has never called a Chinaman a chink he is lying. There is nothing bad about doing that. It is like calling the British Brits, or the Irish Paddies."
In a subsequent interview with BBC Sport, he said: "If somebody says to a Chinaman, 'you're a chink', would he be upset about it? I don't know really. If he was upset, I would say I am very sorry, I won't call you that again.
"I would never call a Chinaman a 'chink' personally," he said. "I don't use that kind of language, but other people do and you do hear it used.
"Everybody will say that, that they have heard that word used. It's not a word I would use anywhere in the world."
Twitter is naturally delighting in Whelan’s latest gaffe…
At the rate Dave Whelan is digging it won't be long before he is in China— Shivam Manghnani (@shivamLM) December 5, 2014
. @TeleFootball FFS Dave Whelan— Rags (@Ragulator) December 5, 2014
Oh Dave Whelan, won't you please just stop talking. #shhnow— Anna Brown (@anna_brown) December 5, 2014
Dave Whelan doesn't need media training, he needs a muzzle.— Darren Richman (@darrenrichman) December 5, 2014
Whelan had been given until Friday to respond to an FA charge over his original comments about Jewish and Chinese people, but the BBC reports the deadline has been extended to next week.