Tesco pays Mike Ashley £984,000 – for six bikes
Supermarket takes firm owned by Newcastle United boss to court
Thursday 26 November 2009
What appears to have been a simple typing error has precipitated a legal battle between Tesco and a subsidiary of Sports Direct, run by the colourful businessman Mike Ashley.
Universal Cycles, an Essex-based firm owned by Sports Direct, supplied Tesco with six Muddy Fox Suspension Bikes, and billed it for £984. Tesco's finance team duly paid up, in August – but put a zero where there was meant to be a full stop, and paid £984,000, or £164,000 per bike.
The argument began when Tesco spotted the mistake and asked for the money back within 15 days. According to papers filed at the High Court, Universal repaid about £863,000, but held on to £121,412. It is thought that the supplier is claiming that Tesco owes it the money from other transactions. Tesco is demanding its money back, plus legal costs, and £1,783 interest. The matter may yet be settled out of court.
The dispute with Tesco is only one of Mr Ashley's problems. He owns the troubled Newcastle United Football Club, and outraged supporters earlier this month by announcing that their famous grounds are to be renamed sportsdirect.com@StJames' Park for the next six months. Mr Ashley hopes to attract another sponsor to buy the right to have its brand name in front of "@StJames' Park".
His sportswear chain is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for "suspected agreement or concerted practice to dampen competition in the sports retail market". The investigation began in September after a rival chain, JJB, admitted its involvement in the wrongdoing, asking for immunity for its cooperation with the investigation.
Yesterday, the former government drugs adviser Keith Hellawell was appointed chairman of Sports Direct. Mr Ashley, who owns 71 per cent of the business, is deputy chairman.
Mr Hellawell has no City experience, but he can offer Sports Direct experience in dealing with financial controversy. He was previously chairman of Goldshield, one of five drug companies accused by the SFO of cheating the NHS out of tens of millions of pounds. The case dragged on for six years, and cost an estimated £25m, before being dismissed by the House of Lords in December.
The amount Tesco paid Essex-based Universal Cycles for each of the six Muddy Fox bikes it bought.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence's own witness contradicts athlete's version of events
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
South Korea ferry: Captain Lee Joon-seok could face criminal investigation as over 280 remain missing
Peaches Geldof dead: Private funeral for the family and friends of the socialite will take place next week
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...