Mike Ashley now the fourth richest Premiership owner with over £3 billion

Posted on September 11th, 2013 | 23 Comments |

Mike Ashley laughing.
Mike Ashley: Laughing all the way to the bank again.
With the news that Mike Ashley’s downmarket sports chain, Sports Direct, is about to be included in the reshuffled FTSE 100 Index of the top 100 UK companies, I took a peek at their latest figures, as I do from time to time.

As has been the norm with Sports Direct for quite some time now, the figures were obscene, with profits rising a whopping 23.2% to £260.1 million.

What caught my eye however was the current Sports Direct share price standing at well over £7 and rising three or four times just as I was reading it over the share ticker. This means that Ashley’s current 64% holding in Sports Direct International is now worth over £2.75 billion, and this is after Ashley cashed in some 4% of his shares for over £100 million back in February.

To put this in perspective in terms of Newcastle United and it’s importance in the scheme of things to Ashley, that is well over 10 times the value of what Ashley has invested in the club, around £262 million. This includes a debt of around £129 million to Ashley, most of which is repayable on demand with the rest secured on future broadcasting revenue.

This now means that if you put together Ashley’s stake in Sports Direct together with his stake in Newcastle United, they are now just over £3 billion, and this isn’t counting assets held by Ashley outside those two companies.

This makes Ashley the fourth richest owner in the Premier League behind Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Manchester City (around £20 billion), Arsenal’s part owner Alisher Usmanov (around £12.4 billion) and finally, Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich (around £10.3 billion).

The closest to Ashley is Southampton’s owner the Liebherr Trust, which is basically Katharina Liebherr, the daughter of Swiss crane king Markus Liebherr, who was estimated to be worth around £3 billion when he died in August 2010.

However, one problem for Ashley and SDI is that the company are now well and truly in the spotlight in the furore over the low wage ‘Zero Hour’ contracts around 90% of Sports Direct workers have to endure, where they can receive a relative pittance after a good week, and absolutely nothing after a poor one, a practice which often drives employees into the grasp of loan sharks such as Newcastle United’s current partners, Wonga. An ex Sports Direct employee, Zahera Gabriel-Abraham, is taking legal action against Sports Direct, which might force the company to bring it’s employment practices more into line with those of less evil companies and hence affect it’s bottom line significantly.


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23 Responses

  1. Well done MA for being a real UK Business success story!! But how much of this £3b is cash wealth?? So Mr Ashley PLEASE invest more cash into the club!!!

  2. There’s a report in the FT that 27% of companies in the UK use zero hour contracts, thats 1 in 4 companies!!!!

    These include SportsDirect, Boots, McDonalds, Buckingham Palace, National Trust, Dominoes, Wetherspoons and most of your high street lot

    Cameron and the like are somehow citing these as good for the employee as it gives workers flexibility WTF!!!!
    The chances of the Government throwing this out are nil to zero – surely even a blind man can see this is exploitation on a mass scale

  3. i fail to understand how any man on this planet could need to spend over 1 billion in a lifetime (on your own lifestyle) ridiculous people have this much money and

  4. Cheap f***er.

    stevep @ 2: yeah, that’s great isn’t it? I wish I had the flexibility to have no income some weeks…

  5. stevep says:
    September 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    “The chances of the Government throwing this out are nil to zero”

    So you go to law and challenge it there, steve.

  6. Well, my company doesn’t use zero-hour contracts. Maybe that’s why we’re strictly small scale. Apparently, my desire to be able to sleep with a clear conscience is getting in the way.

  7. It’s easy to see why someone as successful in the business world, could believe in his own invincibility.
    A veritable modern day Midas ?
    Or Croesus ?
    Both of whom came to bad ends, by the way.

    Hey ya gotta laugh when he prompts Joe (was he the designated goat from day one) to try to get Gomis to take a wage cut.
    Or the fact he has loaned out just about everyone on the fringes of the first team, in order to save on wages.
    A guy who may be willing to spend during the winter window, but only if threatened by relegation.
    A guy who cut the staff at St. James” Park to save a few bob, with Cathy the tea lady only surviving through longevity and the fact he may have been ostracized had he fired her.
    A guy who constantly deals with low life’s and cheap ass organizations.
    A guy who’s ownership is only about making money, ambition? if it comes cheap, then ok, otherwise fugeddit !
    And these are just the positives about the guy, don’t let me get started on his flaws.
    But anyone in anyway observant, should have figured this guy out a long time ago, but i’m afraid there are still those who don’t get it and expect, both ambition and success, plus Ashley springing for top quality players.
    Sorry folks it’s all about money in Ashleys pocket and it wont be long before he’s been reimbursed for the loan and is steadily raking it in.
    In which case getting rid of him will take something like relegation, or a dramatic reduction in profit, neither of which is presently on the horizon, if he plays his cards right.
    Ah well another sixty years without any success, “se la vie” !

  8. pete_toon says:
    September 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    “Well, my company doesn’t use zero-hour contracts. Maybe that’s why we’re strictly small scale.”

    Pete, would you describe companies like Microsoft, Capital One or Mercedes Benz as “strictly small scale?”

  9. Well if this the case, Then i wish he would stop sending Pardew out, To plead poverty for him.
    “Mike might not be able to afford it, If we get relegated again”!

  10. sirjasontoon says:
    September 12, 2013 at 8:36 am

    “Everyone on twitter is sucking off Barton…Ewwwwwwwwww”

    SJT, Philippe Senderos did once say about Barton that “he likes to come in your face.”