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JJB Sports' Jones pays back controversial loan

JJB Sports chairman Sir David Jones has repaid the controversial £1.5 million loan he took from Sports Direct deputy chairman Mike Ashley, in an attempt to end the row over the deal.

Jones repaid the loan, made in 2007, on Friday after the row escalated with JJB Sports lawyers writing to Ashley demanding a retraction of his statement that the loan had been made after Jones joined JJB Sports.

The loan had caused concerns over potential conflict of interest, however JJB Sports has repeatedly said that it fully supported Jones.

Over the weekend Jones said that he hoped the repayment of the loan would end the matter and that he could concentrate on turning JJB Sports around.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Jones said that he regretted taking the loan from Ashley but defended the decision, reiterating that he had not joined JJB Sports when the loan was arranged.

He also added that there was a “great deal of resistance” to him turning JJB Sports around and that it was “strange” that news of the loan came out just as the group was set to announce plans to raise £50million for the company.

Jones also told the Observer that he hoped that he and Ashley could “have a few drinks” in the future.

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