Judge rules against Sports Direct

Ashley fails in bid to have King jailed

Dave King videoRetail tycoon Mike Ashley failed to have the Rangers chairman, Dave King, jailed after a court rejected his claim that the South African breached a gagging order.

Mr Ashley’s Sports Direct company claimed Mr King (pictured) broke the terms of an injunction when he revealed in an interview with Sky Sports in July the existence and contents of meetings related to contracts with Sports Direct.

David Quest QC, appearing for Sports Direct and Mr Ashley, a minority shareholder in Rangers and the owner of Newcastle United, told the judge, Mr Justice Peter Smith that Sports Direct wanted to keep these commercial arrangements confidential.

The judge asked whether Mr Ashley was interested in having a “sensible” business relationship with Mr King “or grinding him into the dust”.

Mr Quest said court was entitled to draw inferences against Mr King.

The judge said he was not going to send a person to prison on an inference and ruled that there were no grounds to jail Mr King.

He also questioned ‘the point’ of the £400,000 legal dispute, adding that “£400,000 would get you a full back in the Scottish second division.”

Speaking outside court,  Mr King said he was pleased with the judge’s ruling which he described as a “humiliating defeat” for Mr Ashley.

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