Mike Ashley will today be the subject of a High Court hearing as a former colleague sues the billionaire for £14 million.
The Sports Direct founder is being sued by the company’s ex-strategic development director Jeff Blue over allegations he breached an agreement made in a pub in Marylebone, London.
The pair reportedly came to an agreement while out drinking one night in 2013, in which Ashley allegedly promised to pay Blue £15 million if he doubled Sports Direct’s share price within three years.
When the company’s share price reached £8 for the first time in February 2014, Ashley reportedly paid Blue £1 million for his work on Sports Direct’s share prices.
No records were made of this payment, and Ashley alleges it was not in relation to any deal made with Blue on the night in question.
Blue is now taking Ashley to court in pursuit of the £14 million which he was allegedly promised.
According to the Financial Times, he said Ashley “said words the effect of which was… if he can get the stock to £8 per share why should I give a f*** how much I have to pay him, as I will have made so much money it doesn’t matter”.
It is estimated that the rise in share price equates to a boost of around £1.6 billion in the value of Ashley’s stake in the business.
However, Ashley has issued a defence against Blue’s allegations, stating that a “considerable amount of alcohol was drunk” and that no formal agreement had been made, adding that Blues allegations were “extremely vague”.