Sacked JJB Sports chief executive Chris Ronnie has revaled he and Sir David Jones, who fired him in March, had looked at taking the company private together.
In an email on August 3 2008, Jones had assured Ronnie of his support and said: “I have taken you on trust that we will take this business private, that I will have a share of the action and we will all live happily ever after.”
Jones responded to an accusation Ronnie made claiming Jones was undermining him in the same email. “I am very sorry to hear that you believe that ‘I am undermining you’. I consider my support for you has been considerable since I came on to the board,” Jones wrote.
Ronnie told The Observer that the decisions he had made during his time in the business had always had the full support of the board.
“I did not make these decisions on my own - they were given full board approval and directors were updated constantly,” he said.
Ronnie has been trying to defend his reputation and told several newpapers over the weekend that he feels he has been made a scapegoat and the last few months have has a serious impact on his health and wellbeing.
“The last six months has been a slaughter and I want to put my side of the story,” he said.
Mr Ronnie was removed as chief executive in March after his 27.5% stake in the Wigan-based firm was seized by administrators of the failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, from which he had secured a £190m loan.
Hitting out at his former employers, Mr Ronnie claimed he had been singled out when the wider board should have taken responsibility for JJB Sports’s woes.
A JJB Sports spokesman, however, dismissed Ronnie’s claims and said: “He continues to make allegations which are either false, misleading or irrelevant.”