Sports direct

In praise of Mike Ashley

If you want to be thanked by a grateful nation, don’t ever buy a failing football club, especially not in a city where the local team has a tribal following. That is the moral of the tale of Mike Ashley, who has just stepped down as chief executive of Sports Direct’s parent company.  Never mind creating, or saving, 20,000 jobs. Never mind fighting price-fixing by rivals determined to rip off impressionable young football fans desperate to own their club’s strip. Never mind being brave enough to invest in High Street stores which almost everyone else thinks are doomed. Ashley’s public reputation was always going to be dependent on the performances