Sports Direct readies for £11m payment vote

Sports Direct majority shareholder Mike Ashley at the company's annual general meeting in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire. Pic: PA.
Sports Direct majority shareholder Mike Ashley at the company's annual general meeting in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire. Pic: PA.
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Sports Direct has called a general meeting to decide whether chief executive Mike Ashley’s brother should be paid £11m by the company.

A joint report by the firm’s legal advisers RPC and independent accountants Smith & Williamson found John Ashley had been paid less than “other senior executives who helped build the company”.

It said he was denied additional payments because of concerns over public relations.

Shareholders will vote on the payment at the company’s Shirebrook headquarters at 11am on December 13.

Mike Ashley and the Sports Direct board will abstain from voting, but the firm said they were “supportive of the resolution”.

In the stock market announcement, Mike Ashley said: “I intend to voluntarily abstain from the vote on whether or not John should receive the money that he would otherwise have earned at Sports Direct if he were not my brother.

“I fully expect that independent shareholders will vote against this proposal due to the passage of time involved, although in my opinion, technically the money is owed and therefore should be paid.”