Mike Ashley And Sports Direct Cleared By Fraud Office

News today that Mike Ashley’s sportswear retail company Sports Direct has been cleared of any wrong-doing in its acquisition of 31 stores from rival sports retailer JJB Sports,  back in 2009.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK has now closed its investigation into the case, and found no wrong-doing by any company during its investigation.

The SFO  is said to have ended its investigation into Sports Direct and JJB Sports last October, and brought no charges against any company.

However, is has continued the investigation into individuals involved in the deal, but Sports Direct made this statement today:

“No individuals connected to Sports Direct International PLC are under investigation.”

The investigations started two years ago in January 2009, when JJB Sports contacted the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) with information about “a suspected agreement or concerted practice to dampen competition in the sports retail market”.

Practices to thwart competition in business are called Antitrust here in the US, and the Sherman Antitrust Law still forms the basis for most antitrust litigation by the US government.

The actual individuals now being investigated by the SFO have not been identified, but individuals of Sports Direct are not involved, even if they were previously.

Of course that could have included the Newcastle owner himself, Mike Ashley.

This case had come up when things were not too good at the Newcastle club, and at the time the Newcastle club was struggling with relegation, and of course we were relegated in May of 2009, but things are now a lot better on Tyneside – at least compared to what they were then.

Comments welcome.

12 comments so far

  • Magpies-till-d3ath

    Mar 9, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #1


  • Angryman the Angry fan

    Mar 9, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #2

    Was hoping the fat F!!CK would get banged up for a few year!!

  • Toonmania

    Mar 9, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #3

    Angryman the Angry fan,
    that’s the most stupid comment i’ve read on here since the last time you posted.
    although he has made some very bad decisions if it wasn’t for Mike Ashley we wouldn’t have a football club

  • Magforlife

    Mar 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #4

    Angryman the Angry fan,
    Be careful what you wish for !
    Dont fancy being another Leeds or Portsmouth

  • Spotlight Kid

    Mar 9, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #5

    @3 “..if it wasn’t for Mike Ashley we wouldn’t have a football club”

    Ashley didn’t create NUFC, nor will his money save it. If he hadn’t bought the club, someone else would have – and probably have done due diligence on FFS’s dodgy accounts and negotiated a better deal. The club would have survived, it will always survive, so take your pro-Ashley propaganda nonsense and stick it…

    Supporters don’t need Ashley, he needs us!!


    Mar 9, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #6

    Well said Spotlight Kid, can’t believe the Ashley lovers on here who go along with everything Llambais tells them about his big buddy!

  • oldbobaycliffe

    Mar 9, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #7

    spotlight kid agree with you totally just wish he realised how lucky he is jjb,s owner is the also the owner of wigan who look as though they will be relegated(i know we could still get relegated) but look at the gates they get

  • stuart no9

    Mar 9, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #8

    yep must admit , not a ash fan and never will be, he has a hell of a lot of work to do before he gains my trust, and i cant see that happening anyway, he probably dosent care, so i was hoping for a stretch ,nevermind onwards and upwards (hopefully)

  • solano

    Mar 9, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #9

    Spotlight, Astoria and fellow realists……I was commenting on a similar point in an earlier thread………it’s coming up to MA’s 4th anniversary soon and I was thinking of that time….we were a big club that was struggling a bit, but with no immediate threat of relegation…we had accumulated a large but not critical debt, we had a magnificent refurbished stadium, the largest number of season ticket holders bar Man Utd, were listed as one of the top 20 clubs in the world and were widely known and recognised as that, even invited to attend the meetings of the big European clubs where they bent the rules to serve their own purposes…ok, all was not roses, but what we needed was someone who knew how football worked, or at least, knew how to appoint those who could handle themselves in this unique sporting world….what we got was a t-shirt salesman with a plan that if Freddie Shepherd had announced it, he would have been tarred and feathered at the Gallowgate! Needless to say we got demoted and miraculously, given his cost-cutting, we arrived back in the Prem and have the ambition of annual survival and a policy of continually finding and nurturing young talent in order to sell at large profits…..therefore we are now a small-minded selling club……
    Liverpool, just 4 months ago were also a struggling big club, but with far higher debts, fans in uproar, not as much “through the door” revenue and needed to find the cash to replace their dilapidated stadium……….however their plan seems to be one in which they have maintained their “big club” tag by re-investing what money is raised in sales back into the playing side of things.(ironically buying one of our stars and eyeing up another)….thus giving them a chance to eat again at the big table and not spiral into oblivion……my point? Their problems are far bigger than what Mike inherited…..look at the evidence, and see what we have become in 4 years under this man, those of you who called us “neggers” with “shit-tinted” glasses…….it’s enough to make you cry….and shame on those deluded enough to defend him……his time will run out even with you “loyalists”…….mark my words……

  • Spotlight Kid

    Mar 9, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #10

    Solano, good on you for telling it how it is. If only Ed’s timid and often insipid hit-chasing blog would have the guts to put the club before its ad revenues and champion the cause of real progress it could be the catalyst for change.

    Alas it doesn’t, and the only reason I bother visiting is because the standard of readers’ comments (such as yours, and on both sides of arguments as well – I don’t mind as long as there is sense and intelligence behind the opinion) is always far higher than the by-the-numbers, cut-&-paste articles Ed chooses to post, which I frequently by-pass anyway.

  • solano

    Mar 9, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Comment #11

    Spotlight…don’t be too harsh on poor old Ed!…..at least there is a forum where us fans can exchange views and talk about our unfathomable passion for the club………I agree, a lot of the stuff is paper talk and fantasy but at least Ed has the excuse of being on the other side of the pond…..it seems he has to cater for those “rose tinters” and the Champ Manager generation……….
    It’s interesting how the really big issues…..like this one….about a possible insight into our Fat Controller (the man so many have blind faith in)….don’t attract the same amount of comment……ostrich’s burying heads in sand?

  • stuart no9

    Mar 9, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #12

    solano@9 well said , but im afraid even with those FACTS in front of there eyes , it wont be enough for the loyalists of the ash regime, but as you say, sometime it will


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