Sports Direct shareholders revolt over Ashley’s £70m bonus scheme

Kasmira Jefford
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SPORTS Direct shareholders have rejected plans to introduce a bonus scheme that would have awarded founder Mike Ashley a £70m windfall, after revolting over a similar scheme two years ago.

The retail giant said yesterday that it has cancelled a general meeting that was due to take place tomorrow after the board realised there was not enough shareholder support to push the motion through.

The board needed 50 per cent of shareholders, which include Aviva, Axa, Odey Asset Management and JP Morgan, to vote in favour of the plan to give Ashley 8m shares.

The retailer’s founder, who owns a 62 per cent stake and acts as its executive deputy chairman, receives no salary or bonus.

Sports Direct joined the FTSE 100 index last year, which changed the shareholder register and brought more institutional funds to the group. These are likely to have taken a more conservative approach to remuneration.

The board plans to put forward a new bonus scheme in September. which will include Ashley as well staff and management.