Archive for tag: Serious Fraud Office.

January sales – Newcastle United at knockdown price?

December 6th, 2009 | 117 Comments |

Decision time?
Decision time?
Despite another three points on the board, with the loudest cries of the day demanding the owner to take leave of his current involvement at Newcastle, the latest article in the News of the World suggests Toon fans might get their wish sooner rather than later. The paper claims that Mike Ashley is ready to reopen talks about selling Newcastle next month.

Despite the no-show of funds from previous prospective buyers, NoTW claims that new parties, including one from America, have made contact. Their inference is that relinquishing control of the club would allow him to concentrate on the forthcoming case with the Serious Fraud investigation over alleged price-fixing. And presumably a selling point would be that new owners would have time to invest and help ensure promotion to the top flight. (more…)

Ashley faces the prospect of being banged up.

September 11th, 2009 | 18 Comments |

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. (more…)