Mike Ashley is taking legal action against the football club he once owned amid a dispute with its current manager.

Mike Ashley

Frasers Group founder Mike Ashley is suing Newcastle United

The retail magnate, who sold Newcastle United to a Saudi Arabia-led consortium for £305m in 2021, has accused the club of violating competition laws by refusing to supply Sports Direct with merchandise, according to The Telegraph.

The move follows a legal dispute between Ashley and current Newcastle manager Amanda Staveley, who owns a 10% stake in the club alongside other investors, including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. 

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, Sports Direct claims that Newcastle has “misused its dominant position” by refusing to provide the retailer with the team’s 2024/25 kit, instead granting “exclusive rights” to competitor JD Sports.

This decision comes after the club switched its kit supplier from Castore to Adidas for the next season.

As a result of this alleged breach, Ashley is seeking damages from the club and an injunction to prevent Newcastle from excluding Sports Direct from the market.

Separately, Ashley has sued Staveley over a £10m loan he provided to her during the club’s takeover process.

Ashley claims that Staveley defaulted on the loan agreement by making negative public statements about him after the sale, including expressing her enthusiasm for removing Sports Direct branding from Newcastle’s stadium.

Despite Staveley repaying the £10m loan plus £600,000 in interest in October, Ashley is pursuing High Court action against Newcastle United and its holding company.