Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley faces former colleague in High Court over deal struck in the pub

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Ashley faces claims he promised a former associate £15m (Source: Getty)

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley appears in the High Court today, over a dispute that started with a conversation in a London pub.

Ashley is being sued by former business associate Jeff Blue, who acted as strategic development director for Sports Direct between 2012 and 2015. Blue claims Ashley promised him £15m if the retail empire's share prices doubled within three years.

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The agreement is alleged to have been made in the Horse and Groom pub in Fitzrovia, with papers filed to the court by Blue's lawyers claiming Ashley "often conducts business, discussions and concludes business agreements orally and informally, including while consuming alcohol".

But Ashley denies the claim and his defence has dismissed any business talk in the pub as "banter".

Read more: The wealth of Britain's billionaires has boomed but Mike Ashley loses out

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