By 90Min
October 03, 2018

A court has been told that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley created a disturbance in a bar which caused a potential sale of the club to break down on 2008.

Fans of the club have long been critical of Ashley for a perceived lack of financial investment, with concerns only amplified this summer as Newcastle made a profit of £21m, but did not reinvest this money into the playing squad. 

Stu Forster/GettyImages

The Telegraph report that Ashley has sued former Charlton Athletic co-owner Tony Jimenez for fraud and forgery, relating to a deal for a golf course in 2008. The Newcastle owner is looking to be repaid £3m, which he initially spent in the hope of earning a share of Les Borges golf course in France.

However, the leading barrister of Jimenez's legal team, Adam Johnson QC, claimed that Ashley instead wanted his money to be used to help Jimenez secure a deal to sell Newcastle United. Ashley is then claimed to have agreed to hand over another £7m.

Johnson said: "Jimenez's evidence is that he did a lot of work on the Newcastle United Football Club sale and became increasingly concerned by Mr Ashley, who refused to meet a potential buyer - who went on to purchase Manchester City Football Club.

"He lined up some further potential buyers and Ashley then visited Dubai between 13 and 18 September 2008 in order to meet them. Jimenez says that on the evening of 16 September 2008, Ashley created a disturbance in a bar in Dubai.

"Although Jimenez helped Ashley minimise the impact of the trouble, it again ruined the potential sale of Newcastle United Football Club that Mr Jimenez had lined up."

Ashley and his lawyers have rejected these claims, claiming his investment should be returned as he did not receive a share in the golf course.

Jimenez was involved in a similar legal case with former Chelsea midfielder Dennis Wise, who gave Jimenez £500,000 to invest in the same golf course. After receiving nothing for his investment, Wise successfully took Jimenez to court to recover his funds.

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