Wigan's Whelan threatens FAPL legal action

28 Apr 2008

By: Sport Industry Group

The FA Premier League is facing a major backlash over its decision to fine West Ham £5.5m for fielding ineligible players after Wigan chairman Dave Whelan threatened to sue over what he views to be a lightweight punishment.

Following on the legal threat implicated by former West Ham chief executive Paul Aldridge who believes his professional reputation was ‘besmirched’ by the decision, Wigan’s Whelan is adamant that the league should have docked West Ham points and issued a more sizeable fine.

Wigan currently stands one place above West Ham and the relegation zone with two games to play, separated only by goal difference.

‘This is a very serious offence West Ham committed,’ said Whelan. "’They broke the law, told blatant lies and should have got a 10-point penalty. If we can sue West Ham or the Premier League, I am sure that will happen.

‘Justice would be West Ham being one of the two clubs that still has to go down, but justice has so far not been served in this case. If there was any action taken by the bottom six clubs that are in danger of going down, I'd be a big supporter of that action.

‘I think the bottom six will stick together and take action together whichever two clubs go down, if West Ham aren't one of them. If any action is taken I think it'll be in the next 14 days and I'll support any action that the clubs want to take.

‘The chairmen and chief executives have all spoken and two, maybe three clubs are in the process of taking legal advice, Wigan being one of them. Would we sue the league? We don't know whether we could. Would we sue West Ham? Again, we need to find out whether we can.’

The Premier League issued West Ham the fine after it ruled that the club had ineligibly fielded Argentines Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez following a controversial loan deal in the summer.