As his football related decisions demonstrate, Ashley is no stranger to a bold move. Ashley proceeded to write a put option on a 6.6% stake in Debenham's. Writing in today's FT, Allson Smith claimed it was a smart but rarely used tactic. In buying the option from Ashley for a premium, the undisclosed third party can exercise the option in a year at a pre-agreed price. If the price of the shares increases then the buyer will exercise the option and Ashley will keep the premium. If the price of the shares fall then Ashley will be left with 6.6% of Debenhams. One suggestion is that it is a cheaper way for Ashley to acquire a larger share. Others believe the move will align the fortunes of Debenhams and Sports Direct in a way that could encourage Debenhams to open up to working more closely with the sports retailer.
It seems things are looking up for Mike Ashley. The Financial Times is expressing admiration for his latest move. Newcastle have the second longest manager in the Premier League. They have performing strongly over recent months. Even the criticism of the fact that they only made one loan signing during the summer (Loic Remy) has since been silenced by the scoring exploits of the French man. Newcastle fans will hope the good press continues.