Wigan issues warning to League One clubs fans’ over James McClean chants before, during or after their matches this season onward.
The Latics have written to teams in their division to warn them that the FA will charge them if the Ireland international is subjected to sectarian abuse in their stadium.
McClean rejoined Wigan last week, and in light of the abuse he has had at him in the past few years, the Greater Manchester outfit sent a letter on Monday advising them to “consider putting plans in place to respond to any inappropriate or unlawful chanting”.
It is a proactive move by Wigan Athletic, for whom McClean played previously between 2013 and 2015, making 73 appearances and scored nine times.
“I am raising these matters with you to ensure you are fully sighted on the circumstances and to avoid your club being charged with contravening rule E20 by the FA,” reads the letter from Wigan’s stadium safety officer and head of football administration, which goes on to thank clubs for their support. “If there were any issues during the game, it would also be helpful if you spoke to James to advise him of the action taken.”
McClean had spent the previous last three seasons at Stoke having left West Brom. Last year Barnsley were fined as much as £20,000 after some of their supporters directed sectarian abuse at McClean and the FA criticised the Championship club for not doing anything to “prevent or deter such behaviour”.
While last year, Huddersfield fans were warned over the public address system about their “offensive behaviour” after their game against the Potters which was stopped in the second half, after McClean reported abuse to the referee.
McClean has publicly spoke out on the abuse he often receives, saying he gets more of it than any other player during his 10-year spell in England. He has been singled out for sectarian abuse after choosing against wearing a poppy on his matchday shirt in recent years in respect of those who died in Derry on Bloody Sunday in 1972, a matter has also expresses about. Of his decision in 2014, he said: “I am very proud of where I come from and I just cannot do something that I believe is wrong.”
This year the Football Association of Ireland offered its support to the winger after he suffered online abuse, something McClean pointed out online. He revealed he had been sent death threats on messages via Instagram and called for sectarian abuse to be taken seriously. “Is being abused for being Irish and anti-Irish abuse acceptable?” he said.
The Professional Game Match Officials will be asked to report any instances of abuse of which it becomes aware. Against Barnsley in November 2019, McClean reported he had been “racially abused” to the referee, who advised the fourth official, who informed both clubs and stewards. Wigan have discussed the reporting procedure with McClean, the FA, the PFA, Kick It Out, the EFL and Greater Manchester Police.
This Saturday sees Wigan Athletic play host to Portsmouth, with another big away following set to turn out for that one.
Pompey currently sit 3rd in the League One table, taking 10 points from 4 games played, not bad from Danny Cowley’s squad after missing out on the playoffs on finale day earlier this summer.
Wigan meanwhile sit in 9th place, picking up 7 points from 4 games, a good start considering the problems they had not too long ago and how the club is changing under new ownership.
James McClean labelled scoring the second goal in the Latics 2-0 victory over Charlton at The Valley as a special moment.
The winger spoke of how much he loved being back in Latics colours, as well as getting minutes under his belt.
“I couldn’t have written it better – to play a senior game again, score a goal, get a win – and a nice few bumps and bruises too!
“It’s absolutely fantastic to be back; it’s always nice scoring but to score in front of the fans late on to secure the win was obviously special.
“It was good to have that moment. It’s been a long time since I experienced that and you only have to see the celebrations between the lads.
“I went from a great dressing room at Stoke to what seems a great dressing room here.
“There seems to be a real togetherness here and in my eyes that’s only a recipe for success – and hopefully now we can build on these wins.”
View this post on Instagram
It was another encouraging performance from Leam Richardson’s men, and McClean said he is delighted to see Latics eventually get the points they deserved.
“Watching on from the bench, it was like déjà vu from the Wycombe game on Tuesday night,” he said.
“The game should have been wrapped up and you’re thinking ‘is it going to be another one of those days?’.
“Max did unbelievably well – I don’t know where he’s got that from – dancing past players and whipping in balls like that from right back and then Tendayi with a great header at the back post – it was a perfect away day.
“I think every game – off the back of a win – you’re looking forward to the next one as quickly as possible,” he added.
“We want to build a team here where teams fear playing us and aren’t looking forward to playing against us.
“There’s nothing like a winning feeling with the jubilation in the dressing room there and the happiness – that’s something we want to bottle, we want that every game.”
Twitter users reacted as Wigan issues a warning to League One clubs fans’ over James McClean chants…
@Class1Action: Good to see #Wigan taking a proactive stance on this issue before the ‘poppy season’ starts in order to protect their player #JamesMcClean
@MissPendergras1: Glad to see @LaticsOfficial are standing up against sectarianism. I hope others follow suit hint hint @spfl #Wigan #fascism #sectarianism
@Turloug87600959: It’s not only “sectarianism”. It’s also anti Irish racism.
@AlmightyReds6: About time one of his clubs stood up for him, all the other clubs just let it happen. Man got abused everywhere he went.
@ulsterrugby1971: Doesn’t help when he posts an image of him wearing a balaclava while teaching his kids
@ChrisOverthrow: Problem is that it would have never been an issue if he didn’t make it one in the first place. For the record I dont partake in these chants but its hard to blame those who do. Guy is a class A cunt.
@davidthomson180: Rakes the piss. Seeing as we have our own Irish players. Doesn’t serve any purpose booing him. Also Ronan Curtis is a better player. Pup
@jcrewe86: Incoming Pompey fine
@Twister19184630: Just give him stick for being James McClean
Some comments and threads from this are a disgrace. People than entitled to dislike someone but to brand him a ‘Fenian’ bastard is a disgrace. these mindless idiots don’t actually understand his beliefs. If your gonna abuse him bare in mind our squad is full of Irish lads #pompey https://t.co/Jh460f5r7O
— Archiemcgreal (@archiemcgreal) August 25, 2021
— Marc Iles (@MarcIles) August 24, 2021
As Wigan issues a warning to League One clubs fans’ over James McClean chants, what do you make of this situation? Let us know via our socials.