They say good things come to those who wait. After a tumultuous few weeks, there may be some Sports Direct shareholders who disagree with that old adage.
Having already postponed full-year results from their original date of July 17, a frenzied Friday saw Mike Ashley’s business further push back its preliminaries from 7am until midday, then 2pm and 4pm. Eventually they landed just before 5.30pm – an hour after markets had ceased trading for the week and the Sports Direct share price had closed 3.9% down at 229.8p.
When the results were finally unveiled, there were a number of stings in the tail.
Buried at the very bottom of the most extraordinary of results statements was the revelation that Sports Direct had been landed, late on Thursday night, with a bill of €674m (£606.8m) from the Belgian tax authorities – the primary reason behind Friday’s chaos.
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