Mike Ashley Changes His Mind

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has had a change of mind and now says he will appear before the Business Innovation and Skills committee on Tuesday, in an attempt to clear the “good name” of Sports Direct.

Ashley was summoned by the committee in March over allegations that his company Sports Direct do not pay staff the minimum wage and he was asked to explain the situation.

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Mike Ashley Sports Direct owner

Initially Ashley had dismissed the request as only leading to a media circus and said he would challenge the summons to appear before the committee.

But he has since had a change of heart and has sent a letter to the committee Chairman Iain Wright saying he would appear to answer the allegations of poor working practices:

“I can assure you that nothing is further from the truth,”    I believe my repeated invitations for you to attend Shirebrook are a clear demonstration that in fact we have nothing to hide. I was merely seeking to avoid an unnecessary media circus.”

“However, after much reflection over the last 48 hours, I have concluded that a lengthy legal battle would be of no benefit to either of us.”

“It would also no doubt lead to further unwarranted accusations that I am being secretive, whereas in fact I have been open and honest at every stage of this process.

“I have therefore reconsidered my position and I am writing to confirm that I will now be attending Parliament on Tuesday in order to defend the good name of Sports Direct on behalf of all of the great people who work here.”

Mr Wright has welcomed the decision by Ashley to appear:

“Mr Ashley announced in December he would personally oversee a review of working practices at the Shirebrook warehouse in response to serious allegations made and we look forward to Mr Ashley answering our questions, including in response to these allegations and the progress of his review.”

“As a committee, we want to get a sense of the genuine and balanced picture at Sports Direct and establish whether there are issues for the wider economy which need further examination, such as the status and rights of agency workers.”

This has been really bad publicity for Mike Ashley’s company and it seems he is now willing to meet with the Committee and willing to answer the allegations.

We’ll just have to see how the meeting goes tomorrow.

Comments welcome.

5 comments so far

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #1

    He’s right about one thing, it will turn into a media circus, like it or not. Not football related directly, so not that bothered just now.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #2


    I know you are given to making sweeping generalisations, but Townsend apart, who turned out to be a startling revelation, who else have I called wrong, in some cases allowing for a temporary loss of form?

    Sorry that I haven’t got the appetite to trawl back over your old emails as unfortunately they never really held my attention in the first place.

  • posada

    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:20 AM

    Comment #3

    5M for Cisse. That would be nice. Hopefully the clubs in China are willing to pay it for whatever reason.
    Strange, but in football, if you want to sell a player the last thing you do is put him up for sale.
    If clubs know you want rid they will offer really low money.

  • Jib

    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:22 AM

    Comment #4


    This site says Inter have a list of targets ,they have already signed .
    Caner Erkin a left back from Fenerbhace, and Éver Banega a midfielder from Sevilla.

    Next on their list is Darryl Janmaat.

    However Napoli have entered the fray at the last minute.

    Benitez has managed both sides and knows their development players like the back of his hand (he bought a lot of them!).

    I just wonder if he is being a tricky trousers , playing both ends against the middle trying to get his hands on some young stars of the future ?

  • posada

    Jun 6, 2016 at 8:27 AM

    Comment #5

    On Sports Direct. Zero hours contracts. Buying cheap abroad and selling dear at home.
    Are they the only ones doing this. Far from it.
    The world of work is a harsh place these days for many.
    Buy an item for £5 in the far east. Sell it at home for £60.
    But, the Government make money on that.
    20% is VAT.


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