Mike Ashley ‘deeply apologetic’ over coronavirus stores row

Mike Ashley Poland Street 2

Frasers Group chief executive Mike Ashley has apologised after his Sports Direct business was embroiled in a row about whether stores could open during the coronavirus crisis.

Ashley has written an open letter saying Frasers Group would never have acted against government advice and offered to put the retailer’s fleet of trucks at the disposal of the NHS as the fight against the pandemic continues.

Ashley said: “Given what has taken place over the last few days, I thought it was necessary to address and apologise for much of what has been reported across various media outlets regarding my personal actions and those of the Frasers Group business.

“Our intentions were only to seek clarity from the government as to whether we should keep some of our stores open; we would never have acted against their advice. In hindsight, our emails to the government were ill-judged and poorly timed, when they clearly had much greater pressures than ours to deal with. On top of this, our communications to our employees and the public on this were poor.”

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