The latest Sunday Times Rich List has just been published.
The 2018 figures being of particular interest when it comes to the North East contenders.
The people included in the North East Top 20 richest don’t actually need to be resident in the region, the fact they have business interests in a location is enough.
So often you will find the same people turning up on various regional Top 20s, such as…Mike Ashley.
A bit like an absentee landlord, Mike Ashley never even goes to any matches these days at St James Park, but continues to reap the benefits of his ownership at the club.
He has predictably retained his position at the very top of the Sunday Times Rich List for the North East, with the £277m rise in his estimated fortune mainly due to a rise in the Sports Direct share price.
Ashley owns roughly two thirds of Sports Direct and in the past year it has increased the share price by around 33%, moving from 303p on 11 May 2017, to 413p on 10 May 2018.
Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List:
“It’s been a slightly better year for Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who has recovered some of his wealth after the wobbles of Sports Directs’ share price in recent years.”
Sports Direct gets massive benefits from the free advertising and promotion provided by Newcastle United each year and that continues, even though Newcastle United announced in the 2014/15 accounts that SD were going to start and pay a market price. That decision was later reversed with no public comment or explanation from either NUFC or SD.
Mike Ashley’s fortune has increased to £2.437bn in 2018, an increase of £277m on the 2017 figure, though he still has some way to go to get back to the £3.75bn of 2014, that year he saw the Sports Direct share price reach as high as 866p.
Down the road, another largely absentee landlord hasn’t fared quite so well, Ellis Short now valued at [only…] £1bn, with affairs at Sunderland contributing to a £200m drop from 2017.
Steve Gibson is a third football club owner in the list, in 11th place.
He actually lives in the region and despite his relatively smaller fortune of £195m, has been the one reason why Middlesbrough are capable of competing at all, as his support for the club has been massive in terms of his time and personal money propping it up.
The Sunday Times North East Rich List
List shows 2018 wealth and then in brackets how much up or down compared to 2017:
- Mike Ashley/£2.437bn (Up £277m)
- Ellis Short/ £1bn (Down £200m)
- Mark Fenwick and family/ £730m (No change)
- Peter Stephenson and family/ £483m (Up £51m)
- Alastair and Michael Powell/ £425m (Up £1m)
- Jonathan Ruffer/ £425m (Up £19m)
- The Duke of Northumberland/ £382m (Up £12m)
- Dame Margaret and Helen Barbour and family/ £355m (Up £10m)
- Duncan Bannatyne/ £280m (Up £55m)
- Sir Peter Vardy and family/ £197m (Up £20m)
- Steve Gibson/ £195m (No change)
- Sting/ £190m (Up £5m)
- Duncan Davidson and family/£175m (Up £32m)
- Michael Cannon/ £170m (No change)
- Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan and family/ £160m (No change)
- Graham Wylie/ £160m (No change)
- Phil Cronin and family/ £153m (Up £18m)
- Christopher Maughan/ £152m (New entry)
- Stuart Monk and family/ £142m (Down £43m)
- Aran and Arvan Handa and family/ £140m (Up £3m)
- Philip Noble and family/ £140m (No change)