Three North East football club owners are in the Sunday Times Rich List again, despite two of them apparently losing millions in the last year.
Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson has seen his wealth cut by a third, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.
Newcastle United’s unpopular owner Mike Ashley is still the region’s wealthiest person, while Sunderland’s Ellis Short stays second in the North East at a cool £1 billion.
Gibson has dropped seven places to the 15th richest person in the North East, according the broadsheet paper’s new tables published this weekend.
It says Gibson, the majority shareholder in Gibson O’Neill Company Ltd – the parent company of Bulkhaul, Middlesbrough FC and Rockliffe Hall – has seen his personal wealth decrease by £75m, from £205m to £130m, since 2014.
Earlier this month, Boro’s annual statement of accounts for the year up to June 30 2014 showed the club lost £20.4m.
Ashley, meanwhile, is said to be the biggest financial loser over the past 12 months – but is still valued at a whopping £3.5bn.
While the football business made a £19m profit, Ashley, whose fortune derives primarily from the Sports Direct sporting goods empire, has seen his fortune drop by £250m.
The 50-year-old has a 55% stake in Sports Direct, now valued at £3.7bn, down from £4.7bn a year ago.
Ashley also has stakes in Debenhams, JD Sports, Tesco and MySale and significant property investments.
Sunderland owner Short is the region’s other billionaire. His £1bn fortune has remained the same in the past 12 months.
Missouri-born Short made his money through a Texas private equity operation, Lone Star Funds, having started his working life with GEC, the American industrial giant.
Last year, he raised £1bn through his London-based fund, Kildare Partners to buy property-related debt from European lenders.
The family which owns the Fenwick department store business, headed by Mark Fenwick, has seen its wealth rise by £150m in the past year.
The Newcastle-based company made £35m profit in 2013-14 on nearly £296m of sales and is worth £550m.
Mark Fenwick is a former manager of the band Roxy Music, whose lead singer Bryan Ferry hails from County Durham.
The other big gainers are brothers Alastair and Michael Powell, whose wealth has soared by £52m in the past year off the back of a strong performance by their Cleveland Cable business, based in Middlesbrough.
The only new entry to the northeast Rich List is Alex Lamb and family. Lamb chairs the Tyneside-headquartered business, British Engines, which makes technology for the oil and gas, chemical, marine, construction and agriculture industries. The family’s stake in the £170m business is worth £125m.
The 2015 Sunday Times Rich List – the definitive guide to wealth in Britain and Ireland – is published on Sunday, April 26.
The 128-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine is the biggest issue of the Rich List ever published since it first appeared in 1989.
It charts the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK and the 250 richest in Ireland.
The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts, to which the paper has no access.
The complete list will be available to all the paper’s digital subscribers and will be fully-searchable online at
THE SUNDAY TIMES RICH LIST 2015
THE RICHEST IN THE NORTHEAST
|Regional rank2015||Regional rank2014||Name||2015 wealth||Wealth increase/decrease||National rank|
|1||1||Mike Ashley||£3,500m||Down £250m||22=|
|2||2||Ellis Short||£1,000m||No change||108=|
|3||3||Mark Fenwick and family||£650m||Up £150m||172=|
|4||5||Alastair and Michael Powell||£412m||Up £52m||260|
|5||4||Jonathan Ruffer||£400m||Up £20m||262=|
|6||6||The Duke of Northumberland||£350m||Up £10m||287=|
|7||7||Dame Margaret and Helen Barbour and family||£320m||Up £5m||319=|
|8||11=||Duncan Bannatyne||£187m||Up £12m||527|
|9||9||Graham Wylie||£185m||No change||528=|
|11=||14||Stuart Monk and family||£175m||Up £18m||563=|
|11=||11=||Sir Peter Vardy and family||£175m||No change||563=|
|13||16||Raj Sehgal and Sanjeev Mehan||£150m||No change||637=|
|14||15||Duncan Davidson and family||£149m||Down £6m||671=|
|15=||8||Steve Gibson||£130m||Down £75m||729=|
|15=||17||Philip Noble and family||£130m||No change||729=|
|17=||20||Phil Cronin and family||£125m||Up £35m||754=|
|17=||New||Alex Lamb and family||£125m||n/a||754=|
|19||11=||John Reece and family||£120m||Down £55m||791=|
|20||19||William Rankin and family||£102m||Up £10m||935=|