Sports Direct Store UK
Sports Direct is to offer online credit after its share value nosedived Reuters

Sports Direct is to offer credit transactions on the web, according to the Financial Times.

Customers will be able to set up an account which will theoretically function in the same way as a credit card.

Shareholders will be hoping that the move will boost shares after they saw their stocks plummet by more than 10% in value when owner Mike Ashley and controversial chairman of Newcastle United, decided to sell 25 million of his shares to Goldman Sachs.

Ashley's hasty sale of 7% stake was seen as retaliation for the blocking by shareholders of a £73m (€88m, $122m) bonus he felt he was entitled to.

Retailers, Next, have already successfully implemented this model, and Sports Direct has based its ideology around Next.

Dave Forsey, chief executive of Sports Direct, said: "Next is one we try to benchmark ourselves against. Their delivery options are fantastic for the consumer. [They take] credit accounts and cash. They started with not taking cash and only giving credit. We are the other way round, we started at cash [and we will] introduce credit.

"We just think it's another option in terms of deliveries and payment. You almost need to have as many different options available to the consumer as possible."

Ashley, who is still the majority shareholder of Sports Direct, has also been in the headlines recently after purchasing an 11% share of House of Fraser in controversial circumstances.

It was previously announced Chinese conglomerate Sanpower had purchased 89% of the British department store for £450m.

The deal between Ashley and Scottish retail tycoon Sir Tom Hunter, who sold the shares, allegedly bypassed "proper procedures", and House of Fraser was threatening legal action against the pair.