Ripped off by Whelan? Get your own back here!

  • by Gordon Thrower
  • Tuesday, 15th May 2007

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.

* Something to say about this story? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

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