Former Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct CEO, Mike Ashley, has made a move that hints he could be returning to football in England.
Having sold the Premier League club last year, Ashley has now bought Coventry City’s home ground, the Coventry Building Society Arena, after the group that holds the lease to the stadium were placed into administration, reports the Daily Mirror.
Arena Coventry Limited applied to be placed into administration following the collapse of Wasps Rugby. They have now been brought out of administration by Ashley’s Frasers Group, who have completed a £17million purchase of the stadium operators.
Coventry have played at the CBS Arena during the turmoil and recently announced their own takeover. Investment firm Sisu Capital have agreed to sell an 85 per cent stake in the Championship club to local businessman Doug King.
King did try to buy the stadium before Ashley, but his bid failed.
Despite the recent takeover, it is yet to be seen if Ashley will make a move for some part of Coventry in the near future or will be happy just leasing the stadium out to the Championship club.
Although it is a small return to football, it hints that the Sports Direct CEO still wants to be involved in the sport and could make a move to be an owner of a club again in the future.
Ashley sold Newcastle last year to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which was met with delight by the Magpies fans, and eyed a potential move for Derby County over the summer, but the Rams were instead sold to David Clowes.