The Latics supremo has prioritised staying in the top flight ahead of their game against Millwall on Saturday and believes the competition has declined in popularity
The Latics currently sit 18th in the Premier League and are in danger of dropping down to the Championship.
Next up for Roberto Martinez’s side is a trip to Wembley to face Millwall for a place in the FA Cup final against either Manchester City or Chelsea, but Whelan has revealed his main aim is staying in the top flight.
He told the Evening Standard: "Staying up is more important than winning the semi-final.
"No question about that. I have promised the players a holiday in Barbados not for winning the FA Cup but for staying up."
Whelan, who is set to lead out Wigan at Wembley on Saturday, is desperate for his club to avoid relegation, with added financial incentives one of the main reasons.
He added: "You wouldn't imagine a change like that could happen. When I was growing up and playing, winning the FA Cup was something absolutely unbelievable.
"It [the decline] has happened. You get so much money out of the Premier League, it's just phenomenal. And what these clubs are going to get next season is unbelievable. It makes this season's relegation battle all the more desperate."