I signed off my last offering by promising to come back if I had more information on the retail deal situation.
Today a trusted source who had gone dark all week got back to me.
He told me that the Conveyancing Consigliere the Immaculately Coiffed Signatory and the Serious Professional were dispatched to Shirebrook by the Convict Chairman.
After a brief attempt at rapprochement by Sevco’s legal mastermind the trio knew that the game was up.
The Ashley camp was in no mood to be magnanimous.
It all came down to the fact that General Ashley had an airtight case.
This goes back to the fact that Mr David Cunningham King doesn’t do detail.
He asked his Conveyancing Consigliere if the deal in June 2017 was ok.
He got the nod and signed it on that basis.
Now I learn that Big Mike had his A team of contract lawyers on the job.
Apparently, there were three trip wires attached to boom boom stuff in the terms and conditions.
The first one was the matching clause.
That has been widely reported, but what hasn’t is that those poor sods at JD Sports were not aware that it existed when Sevco approved them.
They had a meeting with the Sevco High Command yesterday.
Let’s just say it wasn’t tranquil and it broke up with the sports retailer stating that they would be considering their legal options.
I’m sure in some a parallel universe the folks at Hummel are delighted with how well the sales of Sevco merchandise is going.
After the Matching Clause, the second booby trap was the fact that Big Mike had his guys split the retail revenues into three separate streams. This, I’m told was a very smart move by Ashley.
- Replica kits
- Gifts and sundries (I’m assuming that this includes Timmy Bear).
The third contractual IED was that Sevco had to tell Sports Direct BEFORE they were going to speak to a third party.
Of course, the Convict Chairman did exactly the opposite and approached JD Sports in a glib and shameless manner.
In the end, it was no contest in the court.
General Ashley had his legal division ready to punch through anything Sevco had by way of resistance.
It never came to that as the white flag accompanied the dignified trio to Shirebrook.
One thing that General Ashley made quite clear to the surrender delegation was that unlike June 2017 there would be no spin permitted in the Glasgow media about a great Sevco victory.
As for the legal bill, that is still being calculated and don’t believe that the reported £550k to be the end of the matter.
It could be substantially larger.
When the Sevco QC complained about the size of the costs being claimed by Sports Direct the judge stated that it was not exorbitant.
Indeed, he noted that Ashley’s legal team had carried out their duties diligently.
Now here’s the real scéal:
As of today, Ashley was having his people write up the new retail contract.
The Sevco High Command WILL sign it.
They have no choice and they know it.
This attempt to go behind Big Mike’s back has only led to another courtroom humiliation and a large legal bill.
I’m told that the new contract will have several anti-boycott measures written into it.
The only thing remaining is for it to be signed on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.