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Championship: Dave Whelan resigns as Wigan chairman after 20 years

Dave Whelan has announced his resignation as Wigan chairman, but will remain as the club's owner.

Whelan was found guilty of making racist comments by the FA in December and fined £50,000 and banned from all activity for six weeks. Prior to the verdict of the FA charge, Whelan said he would resign as chairman if he was found guilty.

The 78-year-old's grandson, 23-year-old David Sharpe, will oversee the running of the club, having been made a director last year.

Whelan bought the Lancashire club in February 1995, with the club bottom of the Football League.

However, under Whelan's ownership the club gained promotion through the leagues in 1997, 2003 and 2005 to reach the top flight of English football for the first time in the club's history.

They also managed to win the FA Cup in 2013 but were also relegated from the league in same season after eight years.

This season the club have found life in the Championship tough, and are currently second bottom of the league and eight points adrift of safety, although they did beat bottom club Blackpool at the weekend.

In a statement on the club's official website, 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.” 

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