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Ripped off by Whelan? Get your own back here!

Filed: Tuesday, 15th May 2007
By: Gordon Thrower

Fed up with the endless stream of half truths and wilful misrepresentations coming from the mouth of Wigan chairman Dave Whelan? Fancy getting your own back and making a few bob at the same time? Read on....

Many Hammers are already boycotting Whelan's chain of tacky sports shops as a response to his continued insistence that Carlos Tevez was ineligible for selection during the successful fight against the drop. Despite the Premier League maintaining that the player has been correctly registered at all times, Whelan has continued to perpetuate the myth that the player registration was somehow invalid.

Whelan, of course, is no stranger to being "economical with the truth". In 2003 clothing manufactured by child slave labour in Burma was found on sale in his JJB shops some months after Whelan had given his personal, but false, assurance that no such stock was carried. After a a brief campaign Whelan agreed not to do further business with Burma.

However, it was in the murky world of illegal price-fixing that JJB came into its own. The company was found guilty of being part of an illegal price-fixing cartel which operated in 2000-01 and the Office of Fair Trading levied a fine of over 8m for JJB's role in the scam. This fine was reduced to 6.3m on appeal.

JJB was the only solvent company to appeal against the fine and, ironically, it is this action that has left them open to compensation claims. Legal powers enabling the well-known consumer action organisation Which? had not been granted in time for claims to be launched against the other members of the cartel, which included Manchester United FC, Umbro and the FA. However, by the time JJB's avenues of appeal had been exhausted in February 2007, when leave to take the case to the House Of Lords was refused, Which? had been given the requisite powers to enable them to take action.

Which? has now launched a compensation claim on behalf of football supporters ripped-off by the dodgy antics of Whelan's company. Negotiations are currently taking place but it's not too late to join in with the fun. All you need is to have bought an England home or away kit between April and June 2000 and you could be well on your way to getting your hands on some of JJB's illegally gained profits.

It may not even be necessary for you to have bought the shirt at JJB - Which? are looking at claiming compensation from JJB irrespective of which of the illegal cartel shops are involved. For full details of how to make a claim please visit the Which? website at www.which.co.uk.

You should find a link to the specific campaign in the Campaign A-Z box under "Football Shirts"

We at kumb.com would be interested to know how anyone gets on with this - and ours is a pint if you're successful!

* More evidence of Whelan's murky past can be found here.

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by Bert Schouwenburg
03:52PM 16th May 2007
''Have a look at the GMB trade union website news archive to see the disgraceful way Whelan treated his own employees during a trade dispute. He may feel sorry for Sheffield United but he couldn't give a toss about the people who have the misfortune to work for him. He is a thoroughly unpleasant individual.''

by David Foster
02:20PM 16th May 2007
''Could KUMB do an article on the Andy Webster deal (Hearts to Wigan) that happened in summer 2006? Dodgy or what! There are two things to look at: (1) the deadline infringement on Webster handing in his notice, and (2) the convenient loaning of this player to Rangers 2 months later, a club who had been chasing him for months, and look like getting him for a cut-price deal thanks to the chairmen at Wigan and Rangers being good friends. All too convenient, very very dodgy and needs a roving eye cast upon the whole sorry saga!
Should we get Mr Blatter to look at it for us?''

by Bob
12:24PM 16th May 2007
''Good for you KUMB, that fat pig Whelan can't accept defeat. At the end of the day the Premiership was settled on the field, not in any boardroom, I hope everybody boycotts his shops in the future, and all praise to the Hammers squad for their achievement.''

by Mike
08:50AM 16th May 2007
''Its fantastic KUMB.com has come up with and found this story on Whelan who let's face it lads, could have single-handedly ruined us and we could now be in Sheff Utd's place. We must hit back now in any way we can, even boycott their ground and take revenge for the lies Whelan has to date got away with and continues to thrash around. We are legal but have an unfounded poor reputation now thanks to Whelan that will take us years to get rid of. Many clubs have us as a second team a soft spot for us but now we are disliked... why! because of Whelan's lies.''

by keith cockayne
08:27AM 16th May 2007
''Despite the obvious anger that you and many other WHU fans feel against what appears to be a vitriolic , unfair and largely unfounded series of adverse criticisms of West Ham by Mr. Whelan, I would advise you to think very carefully about what you say and do about the gentleman in response. Apart from the wisdom of letting the situation settle (because of the prospective widespread damage which will be done to football generally if the flames continue to be fanned), there is the very real possibility of legal action being taken against you.
I support your indignation about Mr. Whelan's outbursts but implore you to think of your personal interests extremely carefully in this matter.''

by Chris
11:57PM 15th May 2007
''I've launched an appeal; I'm informed I have a very good case. It's simply not right that I was ripped off like this. Not only to I blame Dave 'The Fraud' Whelan, I also blame Alex Ferguson's team selection, some bad refereeing decisions and Carlos Tevez. It certainly isn't my own fault that's for sure.''

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