Jul 5, 2017

Six new things we know about Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley took the witness stand at the High Court today to give evidence in a case brought by a former employee who is suing him for £15m. It was a chance to hear about the business practices of one of Britain's most unusual self-made men, who built Sports Direct from a single shop into a multi-billion pound business. Mr Blue claimed that Mr Ashley had convened a "Senior management meeting" in a pub, the Green Dragon, at the nearby village of Alfreton, which involved heavy drinking. One of the many times Mr Ashley became extremely animated in court was when asked to describe the moment when he played spoof with an investment banker to settle a dispute over £750,000 of legal fees connected with Sports Direct's flotation. In his written statement, Mr Ashley called the fateful meeting at the Horse and Groom pub a "Fun night". Many of the questions directed at Mr Ashley referred to his level of control of the company - which, given that he owns more than half the shares, is not as complete as you might think.

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