Mike Ashley informs suppliers he will pay unpaid bills IF they knock 20% off
Mike Ashley flew back into the UK on Sunday night, returning from his second home in Miami using his private plane, landing at Luton.
This followed his Frasers Group PLC (formerly Sports Direct International Group) releasing a public statement at 7am on Friday morning stating that he/they have finally resolved the £605million dispute with the Belgian tax authorities.
The statement also indicated there were other major issues confronting his retail empire: ‘Frasers Group would also note that it has currently not been accepted as eligible for the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).’
The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) is what the government introduced to help support businesses affected by the virus situation.
With his billionaire retail empire wobbling badly, no wonder Mike Ashley has now arrived back in the UK with the high street now set to gradually open up in the coming weeks as the government slowly relax lockdown measures. Ashley wondering just how much damage he did in terms of negative PR own goals, with his appalling actions in the early days of the virus crisis.
He will now be throwing everything at saving his retail empire and whilst being able to put £300m in his back pocket from the sale of Newcastle United will come in handy, that clearly isn’t why he has flown back into the UK.
To add to the negativity surrounding his retail empire, it has been revealed by The Mail that Mike Ashley has had his Head of Global Commercial, Sean Nevitt, send out a letter to suppliers who the Frasers Group owe money to, cash that is owed for stock already ordered and received by Ashley’s businesses.
The letter tells suppliers that the outstanding bills will now be paid IF they agree to knock 20% what Mike Ashley / Frasers Group owe them.
With his shops forced to close despite Mike Ashley claiming Sports Direct was ‘essential’ during this virus crisis (the government having to intervene to force closure), Frasers Group are claiming that much of this stock will be ‘out of season’ when the stores do reopen.
The Frasers Group letter in Sean Nevitt’s name sent to suppliers reading:
‘We believe the best chance we both have of emerging from this crisis and succeeding in the new world economy is by facing these challenges together.
‘Due to the efforts we have made, I am now in a position to offer you a solution on payment of arrears.
‘We can now clear the amount due if you support us with a 20 per cent discount on the invoice totals.
‘We believe this is fair and reasonable in these unforeseen circumstances and will allow us to return as quickly as possible to our elevation strategy which is at the heart of everything we do.’
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