When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire jobs at risk in sale of JJB sports
THE sports firm set up by former Blackburn Rovers footballer Dave Whelan is to go into administration.
JJB Sports, which has stores across East Lancashire, has been struggling for some time. But yesterday it announced it was to call in the admin- istrators.
The move, which is expec-ted in the next few days, is likely to be accompanied by the sale of certain parts of the business under a pre-pack administration, said bosses at the firm.
The company requested the suspension of its shares yest-erday, and said it was clear that any offer for the com-pany would not realise any value for shareholders.
JJB has stores in King William Street, Blackburn; Market Street, Accrington; St James’s Street, Burnley; and Market Street, Chorley.
Former Rovers footballer and Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan bought a single store in Wigan in 1971 before an aggressive expansion drive made JJB the UK’s biggest sports retailer with more than 400 stores.
Mr Whelan sold his 29per cent stake in the firm to Icelandic financial group Exista and sports retailer Chris Ronnie in 2007.
JJB said it would continue to trade through all its retail outlets, pending completion of the sale and administ-ration process.
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct business is seen as favourite to pick up a large chunk of the business, although the number of stores will depend on the stance of the comp-etition watchdog.
As many as half of its 180 stores are expected to close in the sale process, threat-ening a large number of the 4,000 jobs at the firm.