Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, formerly known as Sports Direct, has reportedly agreed to cut executive pay in order to continue to pay shop floor staff during the coronavirus crisis.
Members of the retailer’s senior management team have agreed to reduce their basic pay to a maximum of £40,000 per year from May.
The reduction will allow Sports Direct to cover the wages of more than 20,000 workers during April and May, after the company was forced to close all its stores under the government’s coronavirus lockdown plans.
“As part of this, our senior management team have taken voluntary pay reductions to ensure the group has the best chance of continuity,” Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley said in an email to staff, according to The Guardian.
“Each individual has reduced their basic pay to a maximum of £40,000 a year, taking effect from May onwards. This is a tremendous first step and show of support towards securing the future of the Frasers Group.”
Ashley was last week forced to apologise for his company’s initial response to the government order for non-essential stores to close as he attempted to keep Sports Direct and Evans Cycles stores open.
The retailer was later slammed for hiking the prices of at-home exercise equipment after being forced to close its sites.
In an open letter Ashley wrote: “I am deeply apologetic about the misunderstandings of the last few days. We will learn from this and will try not to make the same mistakes in the future.”