Mike Ashley: who is the retail tycoon - Newcastle United ownership era and net worth explained

A former squash coach, the Walsall-born businessman has a taste for a lavish lifestyle

Mike Ashley's Fraser Group is in talks to buy Debenhams. (Pic: Getty Images)

Mike Ashley is never far from the headlines when it comes to Newcastle United.

Mr Ashley has been head of the Magpies since he bought the club in June 2007 but it appears his time at the helm is coming to an end.

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A Saudi Arabia backed takeover of the Premier League club is reportedly close, bringing an end to his spell in charge at St James’ Park.

Here’s a look at who Mr Ashley is, his net worth and 14-year era at Newcastle United Football Club.

Who is Mike Ashley?

Mr Ashley is the founder and chief executive officer of UK retailer Sports Direct.

With a loan from his family, Mr Ashley opened his first sports and ski shop in 1982. By 1990, he had 100 stores rebranded as Sports Direct across the UK.

A former squash coach, the Walsall-born businessman has a taste for a lavish lifestyle.

His property portfolio includes a 33-bedroom London house, priced at £12m, and holiday homes in Spain and Miami.

His London pad has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a cinema and has four garages.

Like most billionaires, Mr Ashley likes flash cars and is reportedly the owner of a slick black Bentley, a BMW 7 Series and a champagne-coloured Aston Martin DB4.

The Aston Martin was bought for his ex-wife Linda, with whom he has three children; Anna, Ollie and Matilda.

Not content with just cars, Mr Ashley has a £5m helicopter - a navy Agusta Westland AW109 - which he uses for his daily commute.

What is Mike Ashley’s net worth?

Mr Ashley's personal wealth has increased hand-in-hand with the size of his retail empire, with Forbes listing his net worth at $3 billion in June 2020.

What companies does Mike Ashley own?

Alongside his Sports Direct shops, Mr Ashley started to expand his portfolio by acquiring other companies in the late 1990s.

Donnay, Lillywhites and Lonsdale were picked up and added to his stable at a time when all three companies were struggling financially.

Mr Ashley then bought Carlton, Dunlop, Slazenger and Karrimor in 2004 before a seven-year spending spree, which saw him purchase Campri, No Fear, Kangol and Firetrap among others.

During this time he also bought Newcastle United Football Club and has since used St James’ Park as a way to advertise Sports Direct.

In 2018, Mr Ashley jumped to the rescue to buy another struggling business, this time the House of Fraser for £90 million which he hopes to turn into the ‘Harrods of the High Street’.

When did Mike Ashley buy Newcastle United?

Mr Ashley bought control of Newcastle United in June 2007, paying around £134 million to buy the club.

After a promising start, things on and off the pitch began to spiral and his reign looks to be coming to an end with a buyout reportedly agreed and ratified by the Premier League.

The prospective consortium to have bought the club is fronted by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley.

Her company PCP Capital Partners has joined forces with the Reuben brothers, who have made their fortune in property, and the Saudi's Public Investment Fund.


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