Ian Guider: Saving Irish hospitality and retail is now in the hands of two British tycoons
Wetherspoon’s Tim Martin and Frasers Group’s Mike Ashley have both taken big contrarian bets on Ireland as the pandemic has seen off smaller Irish brands
Mike Ashley and Tim Martin are outsiders in the business world. They are colourful, outspoken and unorthodox. Their public personas overshadow the scale of their achievements.
Ashley, for the uninitiated, is the founder of SportsDirect, the sports clothing now called Frasers Group. Martin, a qualified barrister, is founder and chairman of the JD Wetherspoon chain of bars. Both men have made enormous bets in the last few years on the recovery of Irish retail and...
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