Serious Accusations Aimed At Mike Ashley Ahead Of D-Day
Mike Ashley faces a pivotal moment on Wednesday as shareholders at Sports Direct vote on whether to approve a scheme which could hand the Newcastle owner the lion’s share of £200m in bonus shares, with a number of SD employees also benefiting.
The Local Authority Pension Fund and Association of British Insurers have already expressed their opposition and urged other shareholders to vote against the deal.
A major concern has been the fact that it is shrouded in secrecy as to exactly how much of the £200m Ashley would be in line to pick up. A number of other schemes aimed at handing Mike Ashley tens of millions of pounds have already been blocked by shareholders.
The latest group lobbying on the eve of the meeting against Ashley’s proposed payout, is the influential Institute of Directors (IoD).
They have released the following statement;
“Sports Direct is seeking to push through excessively generous pay arrangements for Mr Ashley. The IoD is concerned that this is suggestive of weak underlying governance at the company.
“This raises doubts as to whether the board is acting as an effective independent check on Ashley’s power.”
The last two times Mike Ashley has been blocked from picking up the riches to which he believes he is entitled, he has lashed out and sold a significant number of his Sports Direct shares, sending the share price significantly down.
One of the key elements in the extra value Mike Ashley claims he gives Sports Direct, is the massive profile and overwhelming free advertising that SD gets from Newcastle United, with Sports Direct and related brands not having to pay a single penny to the football club.
The sports retailer’s massive expansion both online and abroad can be realistically linked to the exposure NUFC give Ashley’s empire via overwhelming power of the Premier League broadcasting coverage both home and abroad.
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