Wednesday 23 October 2019 3:37 pm

Sports Direct ends two-month wait for new auditor, appointing RSM

Sports Direct has appointed an auditor two months after Grant Thornton quit as billionaire Mike Ashley’s company’s accountant.

Read more: Sports Direct launches ‘skulduggery’ screed against Goals Soccer Centres

RSM will now take up the post. The auditor had most recently stepped in to look after Patisserie Valerie’s accounts after the bakery chain became embroiled in an accounting scandal.

Grant Thornton left Sports Direct in mid-August after the retailer dramatically delayed the publication of its latest financial results.

Sports Direct was forced to engage with the government and regulators as it struggled to find an auditor, the Financial Times reported.

All the Big Four firms indicated reluctance to take on the role.

Jonathan Ericson, head of audit at RSM UK,  said: “RSM is delighted to have won this opportunity. We have a strong, high quality audit practice. Our experience, investment and commitment, together with the scope and scale of our international services, mean we are ideally placed for this important public interest appointment.”

Ashley’s firm delayed the publication of its annual results twice in July. First it warned it would delay them on 15 July, before failing to publish them at its scheduled time of 7am on 26 July. Instead it revealed its financials after 6pm.

When it did release the results, the retailer admitted it owed a €674m (£605m) Belgian tax bill.

Earlier Sports Direct launched a broadside at former takeover target Goals Soccer Centres. It accused the struggling firm of “skulduggery” after failing to land a bid to buy it.

Goals suspended its shares in March when it became embroiled in an accounting scandal.

More to follow.