Sports Direct's chairman Ashley could net £12m bonus

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The Independent Online

Mike Ashley does not take a salary from his day job as deputy chairman of Sports Direct – but he could pick up a multi-million shares windfall if certain performance targets are hit.

The leisurewear retailer yesterday unveiled a "Super-Stretch Executive Bonus Share Scheme" that would give the media-shy Mr Ashley another6 million shares in 2018. At yesterday's price of 190p, that is getting on for £12m.

To Mr Ashley, it is little more than a drop in the ocean, given that his net worth is about £1bn. Still, shareholders may arch an eyebrow. The company joined the stock market at 300p in 2007, a share price never seen since. The stock is up smartly this year but still languishes well below the issue price.

For Mr Ashley's deal to kick in, the group must make a profit of £225m this year and meet further stretching targets over the following two years.

Sports Direct's chairman Keith Hellawell said Mr Ashley's non-participation in recent bonus schemes was a situation which "the board wishes to remedy".

The company has an innovative staff bonus scheme that it regards as a roaring success. Staff in stores on a salary of £20,000 a year can more than double that with share awards if sales targets are reached. Its chief executive Dave Forsey said: "We believe our Employee Bonus Share Schemes continues to underpin our performance."

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