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By ESPN Staff

Whelan 'to hand over Wigan reins'

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has revealed this could be his last season in control of the club as he considers handing over the reins to his 21-year-old grandson David.

• Yak salvages dramatic point

Whelan has bankrolled Wigan's rise from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League since buying the club in 1995 but with his 75th birthday approaching on Thursday, the former Blackburn player is looking to the future.

"The time comes for everyone when you need to retire or take a step back because you're simply not what you used to be,'' he said in Monday's edition of FC Business magazine, according to the Sunday Express.

"What I would like to do is create a dynasty here at Wigan Athletic. My grandson is a bright boy, and is massively keen on football and Wigan Athletic. I'm inclined to let him have a go and I hope that happens.''

Whelan reflected on the "wonderful success'' he has known with Wigan. "I've enjoyed myself immensely,'' he said. "We've come from the fourth division to the Premier League. It is a dream come true.''

Wigan's Premier League status is under threat once again this season as Saturday's thrilling 3-3 draw with Blackburn left them bottom of the table, five points adrift of 17th place.

Whelan admits relegation is a real possibility, but claims it would not be devastating for the club. "I don't think it will be, but our time in the Premier League may come to an end this season,'' he said.

"If that happens, I'm not worried. There is resilience in this club that is unlike any other I have come across. This club will always be here for the people of Wigan.''

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