Sports Direct to close warehouse putting 300 jobs at risk – as Mike Ashley accused of ‘putting profits before people’

SPORTS Direct is to close its warehouse in Wigan, putting 300 jobs at risk as owner Mike Ashley is accused of "putting profits before people".

The closure is understood to be linked to a lease expiry, and employees have been offered the opportunity to take up employment at the retailer's packaging site in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.

Reuters2 Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has a net worth of more than £2billion

But unions reacted with fury to the news, with the GMB describing the closure as a "body blow for the North West".

The union's regional secretary, Paul McCarthy, added: "This closure is another body blow for the North West – caused by a company with a track record of putting profits before people.

"The hard-working, dedicated staff at the warehouse have already been put through the grinder once when the site was run by JJB (Sports) – and now this.

"GMB will not rest until every member receives the redundancy pay they are legally entitled. Then we will discuss next steps."

BLOW FOR NORTH WEST

The Wigan site will close on June 13.

Mr Ashley has hit the headlines recently over his attempt to seize control of Debenhams, which ended in failure.

The Newcastle United owner is now pursuing legal action against administrators to the stricken department store chain after seeing his near 30 per cent stake wiped out.

Sports Direct did not respond to a request for comment.

BILLIONAIRE'S PROFITS

Mr Ashley has a net worth of around £2.8billion.

The billionaire ranked 58 on the Sunday Times Rich List 2018.

He built his fortune after opening his first sport and ski shop in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in 1982.

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The tycoon took complete control of Newcastle United FC in 2007, paying around £135million.

The business expanded rapidly, extending to 400 stores across the UK from 100 in the late 90s.

And on August 10, 2018, it as revealed he had saved House of Fraser by snapping up the chain for £90million cash.

Sports Direct to close warehouse putting 300 jobs at risk - as Mike Ashley accused of 'putting profits before people'Getty Images2 Mike Ashley married Linda, from Sweden, in 1988. The pair divorced in 2003 with a £50million settlement.

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