England

Sports Direct chairman tells court boss Mike Ashley only pledged £1m

Mike Ashley arriving at the High Court Image copyright PA
Image caption Mike Ashley has dismissed the conversation with Jeffrey Blue as "drunken banter"

An investment banker who claims Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley owes him £14m told the firm's chairman he was only being paid £1m, a court has heard.

Jeffrey Blue is suing Mr Ashley, saying that during a pub meeting he was promised £15m if he used his expertise to increase the firm's share price.

But Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell, said Mr Blue only mentioned the figure of £1m.

The High Court in London heard Mr Blue had been paid £1m for "other deals".

Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, has previously told the court the conversation with investment banker Mr Blue in a London pub four years ago was "drunken banter".

Mr Hellawell, a former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police before he embarked on a business career, said he had a conversation with Mr Blue three years ago.

"He had told me £1m - I was very clear on what he said in that conversation," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jeffrey Blue claims he was promised £15m by Mr Ashley

Mr Ashley has told Mr Justice Leggatt that he did not make a share price increase agreement with Mr Blue and had paid him £1m for other business.

Lawyers are due to outline closing legal arguments on Wednesday, and the judge is expected to deliver a ruling later in the year.

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