Sports Direct founder and deputy executive chairman Mike Ashley is eyeing a fresh incentive arrangement after investors blocked the bonus scheme that would have paid him £70m in shares
The company said it would abandon the original idea, replacing it with a scheme for all employees, senior management, executive directors and Ashley. The new bonus scheme will be voted on at the Sports Direct annual meeting in September. Ashley will not vote.
The move comes after chief executive Dave Forsey said the board was “extremely disappointed” that its shareholders had withdrawn support over the bonus scheme for Ashley, saying it could lead to “further uncertainty” for the company.
Sports Direct published a trading update on April 23 ahead of its year-end on April 27 and noted that performance was strong, with group sales up 10.3% to £360m for the nine weeks to March 30, while profits rose 11.5% to £147m. At the start of the month, Sports Direct was forced to cancel an investor meeting that had been called to vote on a new bonus scheme that would gift Ashley 8 million shares, worth around £72m. A week later, Ashley sold £217m worth of shares. Jill Geoghegan