Chris Ronnie, the former chief executive of beleaguered JJB, has distanced himself from Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley and lambasted JJB chairman Sir David Jones’ strategy at the retailer.
In the latest chapter of the controversy surrounding JJB, Ronnie has called for an investigation in to his departure from the retailer in March.
Ronnie has vowed to fight back, saying that he has been made a scapegoat for the retailer’s decline. He is set to hand over a dossier to the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Under Ronnie’s leadership JJB suffered a sales decline. Ronnie told The Mail on Sunday that all his decisions as chief executive were backed by the board and in particular by chairman Sir David Jones.
Ronnie, who is being advised by Manchester law firm Pannone, said that he had been worn down by speculation over his links to Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley.
He said: “Mike Ashley and I are fiercely competitive in business”. He added that he felt “disappointed” by Jones’ conduct. “After August, I felt like my relationship with Jones changed. I didn’t like the way the business was being run and I said so to Sir David. “
He added: “Did I make mistakes? Of course I did. But the decisions I made were with the full support of the board.”
Ronnie admitted that the acquisition of footwear chains Qube and the Original Shoe Company was poorly timed. The ill-fated decision led to the closure and disposal of 72 stores in spring last year. It was a decision, Ronnie said, that was backed by Jones.