Mike Ashley to be paid bonus as Sports Direct votes to pay out

Newcastle United owner's multi-million pound windfall is approved at fourth time of asking at special meeting

Owen Humphreys/PA Wire Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley has finally got his way at getting paid a multi-millionaire bonus by Sports Direct.

Ashley finally got his way today at the fourth attempt as shareholders in Sports Direct squeezed through a proposal to a share of a £200m cash pot.

It all hinges on Sports Direct meeting certain profit targets over the next few years.

Following the five-minute meeting, Ashley boarded his helicopter and refused to comment to the waiting press.

Yesterday, the Institute of Directors launched a rare attack on the business.

IoD director of corporate governance Roger Barker, said: “The fact that the board of Sports Direct is attempting once again to push through a hugely generous pay award for Mike Ashley – in the face of shareholder opposition – suggests weak governance at the company.

“This type of pay package would be unthinkable for a senior executive who was not also the company’s major shareholder. It raises doubts about whether the board is acting as an effective independent check on Ashley’s power.”

He added that the IoD felt that, in a public company involving other people’s money, “an independently minded board is essential in order to balance the interests of controlling shareholders, minority shareholders and other stakeholders”.

Earlier this year, Ashley was in line for a supplemental shares payout potentially worth £73m.


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