Leader: Who will dare challenge Mike Ashley?

George MacDonald

Whatever else he may be, Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley is commendably plain-spoken.

As he presided over a car-crash set of results, delayed by a surprise last-minute tax demand from the Belgian authorities, Ashley was forthright about some of the issues Sports Direct faces.

The problem is that his willingness to confront home truths raises more questions than answers – including some fundamental concerns about the future of the business.

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