The megabucks buy out has hauled the gym and fitness business out of administration and made DW Sports the latest name to be adopted into Ashley’s High Street retail empire.
Founded by former Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan, DW sports will now become part of a group which also owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser and Jack Wills.
Newcastle United owner Ashley also saw a deal for the sale of the St. James’ Park club to a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium.
The £300m takeover collapsed after the group rejected the Premier League’s offer of arbitration to determine who would own the club.
The deal was still being scrutinised under the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test [BBC Sport].
Rangers fans were involved in years of tumultuous boardroom struggles with Ashley which saw poorly weighted retail deals signed with Sports Direct during a time of real struggle.
Former Gers shareholder Ashley even tried to exert influence by installing individuals on the Ibrox board such as Derek Llambias and Barry Leach before a successful Dave King and the Three Bears takeover in 2015 had them removed.
Over the last five years have wrestled with Mike Ashley to regain control of their retail operations with this summer’s Castore deal said to have brought to an end any previous contracts.
However, Rangers fans have once again urged other supporters to boycott Mike Ashley’s businesses after Sports Direct trolled Gers fans by claiming they were set to “exclusively” stock the kit.
Rangers were forced to respond after the kit appeared on Sports Direct’s website, reiterating that any previous deal with the sports giant had come to an end [Rangers].
Whilst Sports Direct are free to buy Rangers kit there is no suggestion Rangers fans must buy from the retailer.
Many Gers fans are enforcing a boycott on the club’s merchandise when sold through Mike Ashley’s stores or avoiding his businesses completely.