Nobody likes Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley – but he doesn't care

The Sports Direct annual general meeting takes place on Wednesday

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The Independent Online

It is not very often a company’s chosen financial advisor is critical of their paymaster’s lack of transparency.

But then again, no company is like Sports Direct. Even a note from respected analyst Tony Shiret, where he said "we expect that investors may react adversely to the lack of detail",  is unlikely to ruffle Mike Ashley’s feathers as his helicopter touches down for Wednesday's annual general meeting.

The company looks like it will become the first retailer to scrap quarterly updates based on today’s terse statement. With press banned from the AGM, Ashley’s loathing for being held to account appears to be growing – just last year the press were allowed in the room.

But on paper, Sports Direct can do no wrong. Shares continue to rise, even though the company revised down profits this year after failing to buy House of Fraser, and customers can’t get enough of his 'pile it high, sell it cheap' business model.

Some have suggested the City may finally turn on Ashley, but with profits still rolling in, that’s unlikely to change. Even with a chairman at the helm who famously admitted to parliament that he is routinely kept in the dark by the executives.