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What the weekend newspapers said - (December 20-21)

The best of the fashion business related headlines from the weekend newspapers...

The Mail on Sunday reported that Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley was set for a high court showdown with Howard Moher and Marcus Mechlowitz, the directors of supply firm and licensor Cavden Group, over Ashley's discounting of the Lonsdale and Karrimor brands. Moher and Mechlowitz are understood to have some ownership rights over the brands and are unhappy about the 70% price cuts imposed by Ashley.

The Sunday Times said that up to 15 national retail chains are expected to fall into administration before the middle of January because of poor sales. Nick Hood, partner at insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, told the newspaper: "I would not be surprised if between 10 and 15 national and regional chains collapsed before the middle of January."

The Financial Times reported Baugur and its founder Jon Asgeir Johannesson have been charged with tax evasion. The newspaper said they had been charged by a Reykjavik prosecutor with evading around $2.4 million of tax between 1998 and 2003. Johannesson has faced a long legal battle on a variety of charges in recent years. However he has been cleared on most counts or the charges have been dropped. Baugur said the charges were "merely a continuation of the Baugur case, which has been going on for six years and for which Jon Asgeir has been cleared twice."

The Independent on Sunday said that former Woolworths chief executive Sir Geoff Mulachy would meet with Ardeshir Naghshineh, Woolworths' largest shareholder about a possible 11th hour rescue plan today. Last week Mulachy launched a ferocious attack on Woolworths' administrator Deloitte, describing its handling of the process as "disgraceful". Woolworths is due to begin closing its stores immediately after Christmas.

The Independent on Sunday also reported that young fashion chain Urban Outfitters was facing a backlash over the withdrawal of a T-shirt with the slogan "I Support Same Sex Marriage". The newspaper said Urban Outfitters had declined to comment on why it had withdrawn the T-shirt from sale.

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