'I like to get drunk, I'm a power drinker' Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley tells judge

Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has told a High Court judge that he likes getting drunk.

Mr Ashley told Mr Justice Leggatt that he was not a regular drinker but a "power drinker".

He was giving evidence on the fourth day of a High Court trial in London after being sued by investment banker Jeffrey Blue.

Mr Blue says the 52-year-old businessman promised to pay him £15 million if he used his expertise to increase Sports Direct's share price to £8 a share.

He says Mr Ashley paid only £1 million - and he wants £14 million damages.

Mr Ashley denies the claim and says Mr Blue is talking "nonsense".

Mike Ashley arrives at the High Court in London. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The judge has heard that the dispute between Mr Blue and Mr Ashley relates to a conversation in a central London pub.

Mr Blue says Mr Ashley made a promise during a meeting in the Horse and Groom four years ago.

A lawyer representing Mr Blue asked how much Mr Ashley had drunk at the Horse and Groom.

Mr Ashley calculated that within an hour he would have drunk four to five pints.

"It was a fun evening - drinking at pace," he said. "I like to get drunk. I am a power drinker."

Mr Ashley went on: "My thing is not to drink regularly. It is binge-drinking. I am trying to get drunk."

He said he had been trying to "get pissed and have a good night out" at the Horse and Groom.

Mr Ashley was asked how much Mr Blue had drunk.

"He would never have been able to keep up," said Mr Ashley. "He's a lightweight when it comes to drinking."

Earlier, Mr Ashley said he had "never taken a penny" out of Sports Direct.

He told Mr Justice Leggatt that he subsidised the company.

"I have never taken a penny out of Sports Direct - salary or otherwise," said Mr Ashley.

"As a matter of fact, I subsidise Sports Direct."

He added that he was the "last person to know" at Newcastle United, saying: "They are really not interested in my opinion."


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