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Mike Ashley has a dispute with Adidas over Newcastle's kit, and Sports Direct strikes back.

Mike Ashley, the former owner of Newcastle United, is taking the club's dispute with Sports Direct to the Court of Appeal. The case pertains to the retailing of the Magpies' new shirts by the club's former owner.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) had earlier ruled that Sports Direct had no 'legitimate reason' to expect Newcastle to continue selling the team's new Adidas kits in the shops of the former owner. Sports Direct had sought an injunction to prevent Newcastle from selling the upcoming season's jerseys through rivals JD Sports. However, the CAT panel unanimously rejected this request.

The tribunal found that Sports Direct did not have any reasonable or legitimate expectation of continuity of supply, and that there was no obligation for Newcastle and Adidas to ensure that supply to Sports Direct was maintained. The panel also refused Sports Direct's application for permission to appeal within the CAT, stating that it did not have any real prospect of success.

Despite this ruling, Ashley is now taking the matter to the Court of Appeal, and a fresh hearing is set to take place on Thursday. The Court of Appeal is the highest court within the senior courts of England and Wales and deals only with appeals from other courts or tribunals. The claimant has applied for permission to appeal the decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which refused to grant an injunction regarding the supply of Newcastle United Football Club replica kit for the 2024/2025 football season. 

There were several references to the possibility of future proceedings at the CAT hearing last month, and the panel's written judgement noted that the refusal to grant interim injunctive relief made a speedy trial more, and not less, urgent. Sports Direct's decision to take the matter to court was widely expected.


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