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Mike Ashley

Deputy chairman, Sports Direct

Mike Ashley has spent much of 2009 embroiled in controversy, most notably when he revealed details of a private loan he made to JJB’s Sir David Jones in 2007. Both retailers then became the target of a Serious Fraud Office enquiry in September following an Office of Fair Trading investigation into the sports retail market.

In November, Ashley finally appointed Dr Keith Hellawell as non-executive chairman, having been criticised for not having a full-time chairman since 2007. Sports Direct’s pre-tax profit fell 20.2% to £68.2m for the year ended April 26.

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