Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has nearly doubled his stake in five-a-side football pitch company Goals Soccer Centres.

The billionaire retail entrepreneur increased his holdings in the company from 3.8% to 6.8% after snapping up around £2m worth of shares.

The investment comes shortly after several of Sports Direct’s independent investors pulled their stakes in the retailer.

This is the latest in a series of shares that Ashley has snapped up in recent months, including a 26% stake in Game Digital as well as increasing his investment in French Connection and Debenhams.

In Sports Direct’s full-year results last month, when the retailer posted a 60% slump in profits, Ashley reiterated his ambition to make the retailer the “Selfridges of sports.”

The retailer has also increased its stakes in American sportswear businesses Iconix Brand Group and Finish Line, as well as buying Eastern Mountain Sports out of administration.