Sports Direct goes on the attack after Mike Ashley bonus vote

Failure to vote for the resolution could put in doubt an extension of the lucrative employee bonus scheme

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has launched an attack against its institutional investors, warning of “further uncertainty” after they refused to back a multi-million-pound payout to the billionaire founder.

Chief executive Dave Forsey said the board, which includes Ashley, was “extremely disappointed to withdraw the resolution regarding a proposed share scheme award to Mike Ashley. The most disappointing aspect was where large shareholders gave their support only to then vote differently. This outcome is likely to lead to further uncertainty in the future.”

The company hoped shareholders would wave through an award of 8 million shares to Ashley, worth £65 million at today’s share price, if certain targets were hit between now and July 2018.

However, it soon became clear the resolution would not pass — biggest shareholder Ashley would abstain — and the resolution was dropped just days before the AGM. In response, Ashley dumped £200 million of shares and snapped up an 11 per cent stake in House of Fraser.

A similar resolution was also dropped in 2012 for the same reasons, although this time round Sports Direct said it had the support of the biggest independent shareholder, Odey Asset Management.

A source close to Sports Direct suggested the failure of shareholders to vote for the resolution could put in doubt an extension of the lucrative employee bonus scheme, which  has seen the top 10 per cent of employees given bonuses worth three times their salary.

However, shareholders have always voted in favour of the employee scheme, with some thought to believe the targets set in Ashley’s own award payout did not stretch him enough.

Today the company revealed sales up 10.3 per cent to £360 million for the nine weeks to end of March, with gross profit up 11.5 per cent to £147 million.

Sports retail sales were up 11 per cent to £293.3 million and gross profit up 14.9 per cent to £120.4 million, but in the premium lifestyle division, which includes USC, Republic and Flannel, sales only grew 0.7 per cent and profits fell by 4.1 per cent.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test