Dave Whelan - JJB


Whelan acquired Wigan fishing and sports store JJ Bradburns (even though JJB are the initials of previous owner John Jarvis Broughton) in 1977. He renamed the company JJB Sports and soon focused purely on sports goods. By 1980, JJB had become a chain of 7 stores, and went on to expand throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It went on to be the UK's second biggest sports retailer.

In 2005 JJB Sports were fined £5.5 million by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for fixing the price of the English National Team and Manchester United shirts in 2000 and 2001. Which Consumer magazine issued proceedings against JJB Sports to sue the high street retailer for damages on behalf of consumers who were affected by the price fixing.

Whelan gradually scaled down his interests in the company and in 2005 he stepped down as chairman. However, in October 2006 he personally intervened to overturn the settlement of a pay dispute at JJB's Wigan warehouse negotiated by new chairman Tom Knight, branding it "the equivalent of Communism", prompting a two-day strike.

In January 2007 he sold £50m of shares in JJB, before selling his remaining 29% stake in June 2007. This action was in contradiction of a statement that Whelan made to the stock exchange on 26 January 2007 whereby he undertook to make no further disposals for the following 12 months. This action may now lead to an investigation by the Financial Services Authority.

Read more about this topic:  Dave Whelan

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