Belfast Telegraph

Mike Ashley sues business associate over golf course deal

Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley is suing a business associate over a golf course deal.

Mr Ashley has alleged breach of contract and has asked for repayment of £3 million investment or compensation.

Detail of the claim emerged in paperwork lodged by lawyers at the High Court in London.

Lawyers representing Mr Ashley have outlined detail in a written claim form.

They say Mr Ashley and Tony Jimenez made a deal in 2008.

Papers say the agreement was that Mr Ashley would pay £3 million for a 5% holding in a golf course development in France.

Mr Jimenez was unavailable for comment but is thought to be disputing allegations made against him.

Four years ago, Mr Jimenez, a former co-owner of Charlton Athletic Football Club, was involved in a similar dispute with ex-Wimbledon and England footballer Dennis Wise.

A judge ruled in Mr Wise's favour in 2013 after a High Court hearing in London.

Mr Wise had said he gave ''former close friend'' Mr Jimenez £500,000 to invest in the same French golf course development.

He claimed that the ''agreed purpose'' was not fulfilled and said he was entitled to have the money back.

Mr Jimenez disputed Mr Wise's claim and said the money was invested in the golf course development in Les Bordes as agreed.

Judge Penelope Reed ruled in Mr Wise's favour and ordered Mr Jimenez to pay compensation.

The two men used to work together at Newcastle. Mr Wise was director of football and Mr Jimenez was a vice president.

In July, Mr Ashley claimed a ''comprehensive victory'' after a High Court battle with an investment banker over a £15 million deal allegedly made in a London pub.

Jeffrey Blue told a judge that Mr Ashley promised to pay him £15 million if he used his expertise to double Sports Direct's share price to £8 a share.

He said Mr Ashley paid only £1 million and he wanted £14 million damages.

Mr Ashley denied the claim and said Mr Blue was talking ''nonsense''.

Mr Justice Leggatt heard that the dispute centred on a conversation in the Horse and Groom pub in Great Portland Street, central London, four years ago.

The judge, who analysed evidence at a High Court trial in London, dismissed Mr Blue's claim.

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