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JJB Sports and Ashley row intensifies over loan timing

The row over JJB Sports’ chairman Sir David Jones’ loan from rival sports boss Mike Ashley has intensified as more details about the timing of the loan emerged.

The Sunday Times newspaper said that it had seen a copy of the loan agreement which showed that the £1.5m loan was initiated in October 2007, after Jones had been made a director of JJB Sports on October 1. The loan has raised questions over a possible conflict of interest.

JJB Sports had previously said that the loan was initiated before Jones joined the company as non-executive director, and issued a statement in support of Jones. It continued to deny Ashley’s allegations this weekend.

A JJB Sports spokesman told the newspaper that it had “ample evidence” to demonstrate the loan was initiated before Jones became a director as was “more than happy to share it with relevant authorities”.

The newspaper also reported that Jones had been using JJB founder Dave Whelan’s helicopter, sold to him by JJB Sports, for business trips.

JJB Sports is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting on Friday.

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