Mike Ashley Widens Claims In £10M Loan Fight With Financier

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Mike Ashley Widens Claims In £10M Loan Fight With Financier

Former Newcastle United owner, Mike Ashley, has intensified his legal battle against financier Amanda Staveley over a £10 million loan, unveiling fresh allegations accusing her of misusing the funds earmarked for the club’s takeover.

Mike Ashley Widens Claims In £10M Loan Fight With Financier : Fresh Allegations Unveiled

In a re-amended High Court claim filed on Feb. 23 and recently disclosed to the public, St James Holdings Ltd., owned by Ashley, asserts that Staveley breached the loan agreement by diverting the funds to pay a consultant, Carla DiBello, rather than for their intended purpose.

Alleged Misapplication of Loan Proceeds

St James Holdings alleges that Staveley, during negotiations for the Newcastle takeover, justified the payment to DiBello as an “introducer’s fee.” However, Ashley claims that Staveley later admitted in a May 2022 meeting that DiBello played no substantive role in the deal and was paid due to her relationship with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Implications of the Allegations

According to Ashley, the payment to DiBello’s firm, CBD Advisory, was the largest expenditure from the loan proceeds, possibly exceeding £2 million. Ashley contends that this payment, not accounted for as a legitimate acquisition expense, breaches the loan terms.

Mike Ashley Widens Claims In £10M Loan Fight With Financier : Seeking Redress

Ashley, seeking recourse for the alleged breaches, demands default interest on the loan amount, along with standard interest accrued since November 2021. His initial aim was to recover the loan made to Staveley and her husband, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, asserting that Staveley’s public remarks tarnished his reputation, in violation of their agreement.

Staveley’s Defense

In response, Staveley refutes owing Ashley any money, asserting that the loan terms were not breached by her actions. She contends that any criticism of Ashley stemmed from public opinion, not her statements.

Escalating Legal Drama

The dispute, escalating since its inception, saw Ashley amending his claim in June 2022, alleging further breaches by Staveley through public criticism.

No Comment from Defendants

Representatives for Staveley and Ghodoussi declined to comment on the matter, while those representing Ashley did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

Mike Ashley Widens Claims In £10M Loan Fight With Financier : Legal Representation

St. James Holdings Ltd. is represented by Richard Lissack KC and Robin Lööf of Fountain Court Chambers, with legal counsel provided by Daniel Scott Bodle of Dentons UK and Middle East LLP. Staveley and Ghodoussi are represented by Mark Howard KC and Michael Bolding of Brick Court Chambers, instructed by Rhodri Thomas of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Court Proceedings

The case, identified as St James Holdings Ltd. v. Staveley and another, is ongoing in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales under case number CL-2021-000770