Sports Direct
Tom Keighley

Mike Ashley pulls out of Sports Direct share scheme

Sports Direct founder and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has pulled out of the firm’s 2015 Bonus Shares Scheme which had taken months to approve.

In a note to shareholders this morning, Sports Direct, referred to “unhelpful speculation” of Ashley’s potential allocation and suggested the executive director wanted to ensure that there is the maximum number of shares available for the eligible employees.

The scheme was approved at a meeting of shareholders earlier this month, following a series of blocked attempts.

Ashley has apparently told the Board and Remuneration Committee that while the 2015 scheme is in place, he does not expect toa ny other share based incentive scheme to be proposed to shareholders in relation to his role as an executive director of Sports Direct.

Keith Hellawell, non-executive chairman of Sports Direct International plc, said: “The resolution passed by shareholders to implement the 2015 Bonus Share Scheme clearly recognises the success of previous company-wide schemes, and the significant contribution from Mike.

“On behalf of the entire Board, I should like to thank shareholders for the trust and confidence that they have demonstrated towards the team. Mike remains fully committed to achieving the scheme’s stretch targets.

“Regarding the allocation of shares, Mike’s focus is on ensuring that the scheme aligns all employees to achieve the Company’s objectives.

“Following recent unhelpful speculation surrounding his potential allocation, he is determined to ensure that there is the maximum number of shares available for the eligible employees.”

Sports Direct are due to report preliminary results for their 2014 financial year, tomorrow.

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