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WATCH: 'There's trepidation ab...
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WATCH: 'There's trepidation about Sports Direct in Cork'

As Cork GAA and Sports Direct commence a commercial partnership together, journalist Michael Moynihan joined Tuesday's OTB AM to discuss the implications of this deal. 

On the one hand, Cork GAA have astutely landed on their feet in reaching a relatively lucrative sponsorship deal with Sports Direct.

Something to be celebrated within the county, Michael Moynihan of the Irish Examiner made no attempt to hide the fact that the reputation of Mike Ashley, CEO of Cork's new commercial bedfellow, has left some onlookers feeling concerned, however.

"The opinions of people in Cork have broken along predictable lines," explained Moynihan. "There is a school of thought that says no matter where the money comes from if my team gets it then that is good.

"Then there's the other school of thought that has more trepidations about what Sports Direct brings with them and there are associations there that a lot of people might be uncomfortable with."

Joining us on Tuesday's OTB AM, Moynihan, author of the 2013 book GAAconomics: The Secret Life of Money in the GAA, explained where Cork will likely benefit and why they ought to be wary of Ashley and his dealings.

In an Irish Examiner article charting what is currently known of a deal that has yet to be officially announced by Cork GAA or Sports Direct, Moynihan relayed claims from sources closer to the deal that the controversial businessman Mike Ashley had "no hand, act or part" in this deal.

"This is not a deal with Mike Ashley as a person," the source explained. "It’s a deal with a company, a company which has other shareholders and funds involved in it. Mike Ashley is not the sole owner of the company."

Nevertheless, Ashley is both the founder and sitting CEO of the company. Although he may not be the 'sole owner', he is certainly the majority shareholder.

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Related Reads:

Sports Direct to sponsor Cork's Hurling and Gaelic football teams

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Although Ashley has repeatedly been the source of media interest in the UK for a variety of reasons, perhaps the most galling revelations came as he came before a parliamentary select committee in 2016.

In late 2015, an undercover investigation carried out in a Sports Direct warehouse by The Guardian "exposed how workers were being paid illegally low wages," in conditions likened to those in a Victorian workhouse.

Intriguingly, when addressing these allegations in 2016 Ashley insisted that his primary value in business was people: "It is the people. That is the value. The value of Sports Direct is the people, finished."

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Cork GAA Gaelic Football Hurling Michael Moynihan Mike Ashley Sports Direct

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