Tycoon re-elected

Ashley sees off rebels as Sports Direct says it is ‘focused’

Mike Ashley

Mike Ashley: re-elected

Sports Direct’s majority owner Mike Ashley saw off a rebellion by shareholders to be re-elected to the board with 90% of the vote at today’s AGM.

Afterwards the company issued an upbeat statement about its prospects following a difficult year which has seen its share price plummet and Mr Ashley say that buying House of Fraser was a mistake.

Mr Ashley said it was clear that online shopping was impacting on the high street but he said Sports Direct was joined by firms such as TK Maxx, Primark and Next in continuing to put their faith in “bricks and mortar” retail.

“I’m not a clicks man, I wasn’t born in the clicks era,” he said. “I’m a bricks man, I believe in bricks.”

He added: “It’s going to be a lot smaller pond, but the fish are going to be enormous. I want to be one of those enormous fish,”

A spokesperson for the firm said: “We remain totally focused on delivering our elevated proposition which, following the AGM, continues to be supported by the investor community.

“We are already seeing some exciting milestones with the acquisition of Jack Wills, the opening of the new Flannels flagship store in London and plans for Frasers now in motion.

“We are building a young and dynamic executive team to assist in this transition but making sure we retain the core values in the existing business that have allowed the business to prosper over the years.”

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