Former Newcastle owner returns to court over football shirt sales

Former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is set to return to court over the sale of the club’s shirts in his high street sports shop Sports Direct.

This comes following the announcement that high street sportswear shop JD Sports will have an exclusive football kit supply deal for the 24/25 season.

Ashley and his Fraser’s group argued in a court of appeal that this deal is anti-competitive and that fans will only be forced to pay an increased fee for their teams’ kits.

Sports Direct are asking the court to grant a temporary court order forcing the club to supply the replica kits for the 24/25 season.

The court has heard such statements that the club are using a ‘dominant position’ to inflict ‘an abuse’ on the market.

Sports Direct has been the largest sports retailer in the United Kingdom with almost 500 stores across the UK. The club’s replica shirts have been sold in these stores for decades so for this change to occur is quite a shock.

Under the new Adidas partnership the replica kits would be sold from three outlets, JD Sports, the club shop and Adidas stores and it was stated in court that the loss of Newcastle replica shirts lowering people’s return to the store is a stretch and not something that can be proven.

The Sports Direct majority shareholder Mike Ashley has a very negative relationship with the Newcastle faithful and so the loss of the kits in his stores will be good news to many.

Ashley will continue to fight this however it may be a losing battle after all.