Irish lifeline for JJB

JJB Sports headquarters at Martland Park, Wigan
JJB Sports headquarters at Martland Park, Wigan
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AILING JJB Sports may be offered a lifeline as the owner of Ireland’s biggest sports retailer has emerged as a bidding contender, according to reports.

Stafford Group, which bought Lifestyle Sports, the owner of 62 stores across Ireland, in 2005, is reported to be among the group of companies still hoping to broker a deal.

Wigan-based JJB is on the brink of administration having put itself up for sale last month due to spiralling debts.

Rival Sports Direct, founded by billionaire Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, was thought to be frontrunner to secure a deal to swoop for JJB’s most profitable stores.

Such a deal would mean closure of the Martland Mill headquarters and the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The Dublin based Stafford Group is a family-owned private company with 950 staff.