The scandal over JJB chairman Sir David Jones’ £1.5m loan from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley is escalating, with Ashley claiming he gave Jones the loan after he joined JJB’s board.
Ashley told The Times: “You can imagine my surprise when David approached me for a loan. He had been there five minutes and Chris Ronnie was asking me for a loan for him. I thought it was a bizarre thing to ask for.”
Yesterday JJB Sports pledged its support to its chairman saying that the loan was agreed before Jones joined the sports retailer as a non-executive director.
JJB Sports said that Jones had made the company fully aware of the loan however reports this morning suggest that some of the other directors at JJB were unaware of the loan until the details were leaked to the newspapers at the weekend.
There was uncertainty growing about how the scandal would affect JJB’s plans to raise £50m. KBC Peel Hunt analyst John Stevenson said: “Any allegations like these are going to impact on investor sentiment and the company’s ability to raise money in the rights issue.”