Sports Direct has bowed to pressure for an independent review, displacing its own legal advisers in favour of an as yet unknown “independent party”.

The Mike Ashley-controlled retailer said it had listened to “concerns” from independent shareholders and a ‘360-degree’ review of its working practices and corporate governance would now be carried out independently.

Sports Direct’s legal advisers RPC had conducted an initial review of the retailer’s practices, which was published earlier this month. 

However the retailer attracted criticism for getting RPC to conduct the review.

In  a statement, Sports Direct said: ”The board will continue constructive dialogue with the company’s independent shareholders in order to reach agreement regarding the specific nature and timing of the review.”

The controversial retaier has come under continued criticism for its working conditions, especially in its Shirebrook warehouse.

Sports Direct threw open the doors to its Shirebrook warehouse earlier this month in an effort to be more transparent following the report on its working conditions by RPC.

The report was carried out in light of fierce criticism from unions, the media and followed a select committee inquiry into working practices.

It admitted there has been “serious shortcomings” in its working practices which it “deeply regrets and apologises for” and said that Ashley took “ultimate responsibility for any aspects of the working practices that were unsatisfactory”. 

It also changed its stance on the zero-hour contracts that the retailer has become synonymous with, by allowing store staff to opt for a minimum of 12 hours work a week.

Sports Direct also revealed today that the selection process for a new workers’ representative on its board will be via elections, in which all staff “directly engaged or employed” are eligible to vote.