Drapersonline.com is reporting live from JJB Sports’ agm in Wigan, which kicked off a short time ago.
The event is likely to see JJB Sports chairman face tough questions over his controversial £1.5m loan from Sports Direct deputy chairman Mike Ashley.
Ashley has been reported to be planning to send a representative to challenge Jones’ account of the loan arrangement.
Jones and JJB Sports claim that the loan, which sparked concerns over a conflict of interest, was arranged before Jones joined the group.
However, Ashley claims that the deal was made after Jones was a director at JJB Sports.
Like-for-like sales fell 26.5% for the 25 weeks to July 19 compared to the same period last year. The company said that the decrease was mostly down to low stock levels.
Total retail sales dropped 40.4% over the period. Gross margin was 11.2% lower than the same time last year, hit by Sales and discounting.
JJB Sports said that its Summer Sale had helped clear out old, slow moving stock, and that its stock holding was 57.7% lower than the same time last year.
However, it added that it did not expect any significant improvement in sales until the fourth quarter of 2009.
JJB Sports also reiterated its support of Jones against “personal and defamatory attacks” and its claim that the loan was initiated in September 2007 before Jones joined the board on October 1 2007.
Jones is also likely to be questioned over the future of the JJB Sports and how he plans to turn the business around.
The business avoided a collapse earlier this year, after it agreed a Company Voluntary Agreement with shareholders and landlords to ditch the leases of some of its stores. JJB Sports is aiming to reposition itself as a chain for shoppers who are “serious about sport”.
Live coverage from JJB Sports
12.42: Jones charming the journalists
12.29: Emerson was escourted out by security when people tried to ask questions he has 50 shares in the company.
12.21: Poll closed- looks like most resolutions should pass
12.12: Jones: I know one thing I will be exhausted at the end of this meeting.
12.08: Sill voting. There is the biggest most imposing security man near the door, wonder if they were expecting trouble?
11.58: Close to 100 people in this room- Jones said earlier that when they had the London meetings on the CVA three people turned up
11.54: Emerson is texting on his phone as the other resolutions are being put to the meeting - wonder if he is texting Mr Ashley?
11.48: Looks like the recent scandal has done little to dent shareholders support of Jones
11.47: Proxy vote for Jone’s re-election 98 per cent in favour
11.44: Votes happening now - proxy votes shown but full results not expected till later today
11.40: Jones and the other board members said it seemed like the total package of stores in question were a drain on company resources
11.39: A former JJB employee asked why Jones and the board allowed Ronnie to sell profitable stores to be handed to Ashley
11.38: He asked what were the last roles Colin Tranter held - who is director of retail and product- Jones said it was not a relevant question
11.35: Chris Emmerson has said it seems Jones has a friends and family policy of recruitment at the moment
11.34: He said that the proof there is no conflict of interest which is proved by the fact he does not now trade with sports direct
11.30: Jones said he is not looking to take stock from a competitor
11.27: He is asking why in light of the poor stock position JJB refused to take stock on good terms from Ashley3 minutes ago from TwitterFon
11.24: Chris Emmerson has just stood up on behalf of Mike Ashley6 minutes ago from TwitterFon
11.22: Jones also said that Ashley refused to pay a bill that Sports Direct owed until a settlement was made with suspended chief Chris Ronnie8 minutes ago from TwitterFon
11.21: Jones: In hind sight wish I had not made contract with Ashley
11.20: Jones explaining his position
11:19: Same shareholder said he told Chris Ronnie that there was no money in Iceland - Ronnie apparently said ³I know it was from Russia half a minute ago from TwitterFon
11:17: Questions started- shareholder is asking why Jones lent money from a rival business3 minutes ago from TwitterFon
11.15: Board believes a number of factualy incorrect & defamatory claims have been made against Sir David with a view to de-stabalise the company
11:12: Trading update- retail revenue -40.4 per cent in last 25 week.No improvement expected till end if the year when stock starts coming through
11:03: John Clare to be new independent non exec
11:02: Jones: Year to 2009 a very sad one for the company
11:01: Jones said we will wait 50 seconds to start as Mike Ashley is usually late
10.57: Sir David is here just sitting down to start - full house
10:56: Shareholders have been reading over the newspaper cuttings of the loan scandal- former non exec roger best is here to watch proceedings
10.42: New appointment to the board expected to be announced at eleven-apparently a significant retail name.
10.30: There is a banner outside JJB HQ saying- Sir David we are 100 per cent behind you. From your 6,500 loyal emloyees.