According to the Mirror, former United chairman Martin Edwards offered his majority stake to retail tycoon Whelan when it was found out that businessman Michael Knighton did not have unlimited cash, as expected.
Whelan, whose chain of JJB Sports stores would soon be worth one billion pounds, said that after agreeing to the deal, he went home to tell the news to his wife Pat, who however, told him to drop the deal, reasoning that he will lose his other customers and United rivals if he owns the Old Trafford side.
Following his wife's advice, Whelan withdrew from the sale and after five years, bought Wigan, financing their move from the drab Springfield Park to a new 30 million-pound stadium and presiding over a fairytale journey to the Premier League and Wembley.
Stating that he still has regrets about his near miss with a treasure chest at Old Trafford, the 76-year old Whelan said that he regretted pulling out of the deal financially as he got cold feet even though he knew that he was sitting on a potential gold mine.
According to Whelan, United was still six months from winning their first trophy under Sir Alex Ferguson at that time, adding that he was planning to build a superbowl - with an exhibition hall, shopping mall, offices, swimming pool and health club at United.
However, Whelan said that he does not regret the last 20 years at Wigan, adding that although people had thought him mad when he bought the club in 1995, he has dramatically turned the fortunes of the club and is proud of what he has now.
Wigan will face Manchester City in this weekend's FA Cup Final, the report added.
--ANI (Posted on 11-05-2013)