Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley – who has been focused on building what he has termed the Selfridges of Sport – has added to his retail empire.
The billionaire Newcastle United owner has made a clandestine move on shares in five-a-side football pitch chain Goals Soccer Centres, thought to be worth £2m.
The stake increases Ashley's stake in the company to 4.7 per cent, from 3.8 per cent previously.
The news is expected to be delivered to share holders tomorrow morning, and was first noticed by investors when large blocks of shares changed hands last Thursday and Friday.
Last month Ashley snapped up a 26 per cent stake in Game Digital, taking advantage of a sharp fall in its share price. Investors backed out of the video game retailer after it announced a profit warning due to a shortage of Nintendo consoles.
Goals and Game have been added to Ashley's stakes in Debenhams and French Connection.
Ashley was last month forced to defend his grand plans to investors after the company posted a 60 per cent fall in yearly pre-tax profit to £113.7m.
The six-year low for profits was blamed on sterling’s post-referendum crash, which Ashley failed to hedge against, and the torrent of bad press his company has generated on an almost monthly basis.
Ashley is however feeling flush after winning a High Court case over an alleged £15m pay out promise he made in a pub.
The alleged deal was made in London pub the Horse & Groom in 2013. Blue was eventually only paid £1m for his work.
The court sided with Ashley, who said the apparent promise was only a joke.
2/2: Judge says the fact financier Jeffrey Blue thought Ashley was serious 'shows the human capacity for wishful thinking knows no bounds'— CourtNewsUK (@CourtNewsUK) July 26, 2017