JD Sports has made a £5.5m deal with former boss Peter Cowgill, which will include him acting as a consultant for the sportswear retailer for the next three years.

Peter Cowgill, who stepped down from JD Sports with immediate effect after 18 years at the helm of the retailer in May, has reached an “amicable and constructive” agreement with the retailer.

Cowgill will receive £3.5m from JD Sports for a “binding set of new and restrictive covenants” which will “prevent him from working for or advising any of the Company’s competitors, and prevent him from soliciting any of its employees” over the next two years.

He will be paid a further £2m over the next three years for a “consultancy agreement” which will allow him to provide “continuous support and assistance” to recently appointed new chair Andy Higginson and chief executive Régis Schultz, as well as “give ongoing access to his unparalleled knowledge and experience in building JD into the successful company that it is today.”

Cowgill oversaw the stratospheric growth of JD Sports to a £6.2bn business with 3,300 stores operating across 29 countries during his 18 years at the helm.

His abrupt departure from JD Sports followed the retailer receiving a £4.3m fine after Cowgill was filmed meeting Footasylum’s chief executive Barry Bown in a Lancashire car park last year. 

Following his departure, the FTSE 100 retailer pledged to overhaul its corporate governance. 

“Peter has hugely valuable experience built over 18 years which we do not want to lose and both Régis and I are delighted to be able to benefit from his considerable talent and advice,” said chair Andy Higginson.

“This caps off what, by any measure, has been a remarkable period of executive leadership by Peter who has been such a core part of the business’s incredible success story to date. We are pleased to have settled the terms of his departure and more importantly, to have secured a seamless handover and access to his decades of experience, whilst best protecting our commercial interests.”

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