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Mike Ashley net worth: It doesn’t pay to underpay

Sports Direct isn’t the most attractive retailer, but we can’t resist shopping at the discount sportswear chain. As a result, the Mike Ashley net worth is incredibly high.

Sports Direct wants to become the ‘Selfridges of sports’, but right now they’re more like Primark.

Shopping at the discount sportswear chain involves wading through tightly packed aisles filled to the brim with everything from Nike football boots to own brand mugs, digging through bargain buckets for the best deals.

Mike Ashley net worth - Compelo
Flickr/Thomas190

Scandal has rocked the discount sportswear chain in recent years, as it was discovered that they had been paying workers below minimum wage. Likewise, they have turned off investors by going back on promises and failing to disclose information.

As a result, the Sports Direct brand’s reputation took a huge hit and customers are reluctant to hand over their money.

The Mike Ashley net worth dropped by more than $1 billion in the year that followed. However, the controversial businessman still has plenty to fall back on.

Who is Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley?

Ashley started Sports Direct after suffering an injury that brought an end to his squash career.

Using a £10,000 loan from his parents, he opened his first shop in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Immediate popularity allowed him to expand his business by opening up a number of new stores in and around London. Within 15 years, Sports Direct was a chain of more than 100 stores.

Mike Ashley net worth - Compelo
Mike Ashley and James Jukes.

Ashley soon realised that it would be cheaper for him to acquire his own brands, rather than paying out for stock. His first acquisition was tennis racket manufacturer Donnay, bought for $3.9 million in 1996. He has since added Dunlop, Karrimor, Kangol and Lonsdale to his portfolio.

Ashley also holds stakes in Millets, JJB Sports and JD Sports and House of Fraser. Likewise, he has also gambled on the future of Debenhams and Tesco.

However, his biggest asset is Newcastle United football club. The businessman bought the club in 2007 for approximately £140 million, with many speculating that he hoped to sell it on for a profit. Yet, he remains at the club’s helm and has invested many millions since.

Mike Ashley net worth - Compelo
Geograph/David Dixon

What is the Mike Ashley net worth?

The Sports Direct owner has since taken his retail empire public. It listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2007 with an IPO of £2.2 billion, earning Ashley $1.8b.

Sports Direct has scaled up since then and now generates almost £3b in revenue each year. However, the pay scandal has hit the company hard, which has damaged Ashley’s personal fortune.

As a result, the Newcastle United owner is now worth approximately £2.08b.

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