Founder and executive deputy chairman
Sports Direct

As owner of Newcastle United, last month was a particularly low one for Ashley, with his club relegated from the Premiership. Having to put it up for sale and saying that he is no longer bent on chasing stakes in rival retailers, could the spending spree be over for the controversial billionaire businessman?

At one point last year Ashley was one of the most hated men in Tyneside. In the retail world, while he still has plenty of enemies he also has plenty of fans.

Renowned for the many meetings that end in the pub, Ashley remains a down-to-earth family man who has never been bothered about the corporate world or the trappings of the wealthy.

He also maintains a wicked sense of humour and made his finance director cry with laughter at a press conference where he said that after he had bought the brand Golddigga he immediately signed a sponsorship deal with his ex-wife.