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Ashley faces the prospect of being banged up.

Posted on September 11th, 2009 | 18 Comments |

Innocent?
Innocent?
Mike Ashley could find himself doing a spell of porridge if the investigations by the Serious Fraud Office turn up anything untoward.

Acting on a tip-off from JJB Sports, the Office of Fair Trading and the Serious Fraud Office raided Ashley’s Sports Direct offices following allegations of fraud and price-fixing.

JJB’s own offices were raided too but they’ve allegedly been offered immunity from prosecution in return for their cooperation. JJB reported Sports Direct to the OFT in January a few days after it suspended Chris Ronnie, its CEO and a former friend and employee of Mike Ashley.

It all sounds a bit tit-for-tat because in 2000 and 2001 it was Ashley pointing the finger at JJB Sports, landing the company a £6.7m fine for its price-fixing activities, for which I assume they were less than grateful. However, since then price-fixing has been declared a criminal activity and is punishable by up to 5 years in the clink and an unlimited fine so, if guilty, Ashley is likely to face a much harsher penalty than a mere £6.7m fine.

Newcastle United is a separate legal entity so the club should not be directly affected by the goings-on at Sports Direct, although they could be affected indirectly if Ashley’s personal fortunes – financial or otherwise – take a hit as a result of any punishment meted out following the SFO’s activities.

Given Ashley’s history of poor communication with fans it’s unlikely to make much difference in that respect if he’s banged up for a few years. At least we’d be able to find him and he might get a few visits from people in black and white shirts to cheer him up.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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18 Responses

  1. Well, well….a cockney barrow boy in trouble with the law. There’s something you don’t see every day, guvnor and no mistake…..

    :0))))))

  2. i doubt he would go to the big house ,more likely get a fine,if he is found guilty will the FA force him to sell the club.anyone know what would happen.

  3. Good wonderings from hitman.

    Would/could it be sold off in the event he’s not around or is there a risk of administration?

    Not sure of the legal/financial implications personally.

  4. UTD111 says:
    September 11, 2009 at 7:00 am

    “Well, well….a cockney barrow boy in trouble with the law. There’s something you don’t see every day, guvnor and no mistake…..”

    UTD111, the nearest thing to a cockney at SJP is Chris Hughton, actually.

    Geordies of course are incredibly honest, and they never get in trouble with the law. :-)

  5. hitman says:
    September 11, 2009 at 8:19 am

    “i doubt he would go to the big house ,more likely get a fine,if he is found guilty will the FA force him to sell the club.anyone know what would happen.”

    hitman. You’re right that it would be very doubtful about the bird, and things will probably drag on for years. The FA can’t ‘force’ people to sell clubs directly, they can only sanction them through their participation in the leagues.

  6. workyticket says:
    September 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm
    UTD111 says:
    September 11, 2009 at 7:00 am

    “Well, well….a cockney barrow boy in trouble with the law. There’s something you don’t see every day, guvnor and no mistake…..”

    UTD111, the nearest thing to a cockney at SJP is Chris Hughton, actually.

    Disagree Worky…..

    I take the more traditional geordie view that anyone south of Gateshead is suspect, and anyone from the far south (Middlesbro downwards) is definitely dodgy…

    Buckinghamshire, where fatty was born, is definitely cockney territory in my book…..and don’t let any of those soft soothern pooftas tell you any different…..

  7. UTD111 says:
    September 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    “I take the more traditional geordie view that anyone south of Gateshead is suspect, and anyone from the far south (Middlesbro downwards) is definitely dodgy…”

    Gatesheed is the worst of all UTD111 :-)

    Seriously though, the dodgiest owners in NUFC’s history were the Geordie streetfighta from Byka and his Ashington predessor, Hall.

    When I was brought up in the North East, my parents used to know alot of the big figures up there, and I met them too. I also know someone who knew Fat Freddy quite well in his earlier days. Most of them were the dodgiest lot this side of the Cosa Nostra. I would much rather have a group of outsiders in TBH!

  8. I quite like the idea that anyone in Great Britain south of ‘Boro is a cockney. It makes it quite simple then: we have Scots, Geordies and Cockneys and that’s it.

    Although we need Mackems too. Well not exactly ‘need’ as such.

  9. Mackems are like those blind spots you get every now and again for no apparent reason. Dead irritable and divn’t look pretty but gan away after a while.

  10. I hope not because the ladies round Central were schmokin! I’m on the Manchester Airport train. Hope I don’t fall asleep.

  11. bowburnmag says:
    September 11, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    “I hope not because the ladies round Central were schmokin! I’m on the Manchester Airport train. Hope I don’t fall asleep.”

    Where are you gannin’, Bowburn? And why is it that I only ever see cackling orange hoonds ’round the station up there? :-(

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