Profile: Mike Ashley - Newcastle’s enigmatic retail genius

10 May 2021

Mike Ashley
Photo: Alamy Mike Ashley after yet another legal battle - leaving the High Court in London with his PR and legal team.

Unconventional tycoon turned a single shop into Britain’s biggest retail empire. 21 years ago Ashley turned whistleblower and reported his rivals to the Office of Fair Trading.

Since taking over Newcastle in 2007, record has been defined by underachievement. 

Hopes of selling club scuppered by potential Saudi investors’ unwillingness to engage with Premier League scrutiny. – but Ashley wants payback from EPL.

Last week Mike Ashley filed a lawsuit against the Premier League for its role in the club's collapsed takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

James Corbett corbett@offthepitch.com

It was 2000 and the 37-year-old sports retailer Mike Ashley had been summoned to the home of David Hughes, the millionaire property developer and owner of the AllSports chain. Other retail bosses were there too, including Dave Whelan, the Wigan Athletic owner and founder of JJB Sports.

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