162 jobs have been saved at the beleagured Direct Golf company. From its Yorkshire headquarters an announcement was made yesterday that Sports Direct had taken over after a fierce legal battle between Direct Golf’s John Andrew and Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of premier league football club Newcastle United.
Direct Golf went into administration on October 16 after the discovery of alleged accounting irregularities, which effectively rendered the business insolvent.
The parent company reported a 76% profit loss and sales crashed to £21million in the year to the end of September 2014. The Administrators said the group had come under “serious cash flow pressure as a result of significant accounting issues that will require further detailed investigations by the administrators”. It is understood that large sums are owed to H M Inland Revenue and Customs, their landlords and suppliers. Mr Andrew and two other directors have been ousted from the Board of Directors.
Sports Direct own a 25% stake in Direct Golf’s parent company and have invested several million pounds in the company.
Direct Golf Founder John Andrew says:
“It’s gut wrenching and I need time to come to terms with it. This is a company I started 24 years ago and one I ran without a partner or another shareholder until 12 months ago. I’m not to blame for any of this. The business had been on an absolute high and the errors in the accounts had come out of the blue”.
“Neither me nor the other two directors knew anything about this,” he said. “We gave Sports Direct complete ‘under the bonnet access’ to the business and served a notice of intention of administration.
“I was ready to invest personally to save the business and Sports Direct sent letters of support but never came through.”