Sports Direct has hit out over the handling of Debenhams and said the handing over of control, to Debenhams lenders is “nothing short of a national scandal.”

Mike Ashley said, “As normal, politicians and regulators fiddled whilst Rome burnt. These politicians and regulators have proven to be as effective as a chocolate teapot.

“I restate my call for the advisors to go to prison given their skulduggery in undermining shareholders and other stakeholders, such as employees and pensioners

“The board of Debenhams and its advisers have sought to stifle and exclude us from their so-called process and have undermined and blocked our various offers of assistance as they carried out their underhand plan to steal from shareholders.”

Ashley added, “Whilst these hedge funds look to close a significant number of stores and put thousands of people out of work, as politicians and regulators look on, I will go to the ends of the Earth to save as many Debenhams stores and jobs as I can, similar to the promise I made with regards to House of Fraser.”

He added: “While there may be some short term cost to Sports Direct and our shareholders, sometimes you have to do the right thing, something the board of Debenhams and the hedge funds have manifestly failed to do.”

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