Sports Direct investors veto £11m payout for chief executive's brother

‘Back payment’

In today’s general meeting, Sports Direct’s investors voted against a proposal to pay Mike Ashley’s brother £11m.

The tycoon, who abstained from voting, wanted to give John Ashley the cash as a back payment. But when the shareholders were asked to approve the payment to John, they said he had given up a bonus that he would have received if he were treated the same as other Sports Direct executives.

Sports Direct said: “The board respects the views of the company’s independent shareholders, and considers all these matters to be closed. We now intend to move on.”

John, who is Mike’s elder brother, stepped down as the retailer’s IT chief in 2015. An internal review had found that John had been underpaid since the company listed on the stock market in 2007, and was due £11m in bonuses and awards.

The findings were endorsed by Mike Ashley and the board, but were criticised before the vote by investors due to corporate governance issues.

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