• Sports Direct clarifies role of Michael Murray
  • Retailer says Murray is employed only as a consultant and not a director
  • Murray is not receiving a salary and will be paid ‘based solely on creating value’

Sports Direct has moved to clarify the role played at the retailer by Michael Murray – the boyfriend of founder Mike Ashley’s daughter.

The 26-year-old, who lives with Ashley’s daughter Anna, has been drafted in to head up Sports Direct’s property team for the UK and internationally.

Reports over the weekend suggested Murray, who previously promoted student nights and ran festivals, had been appointed to the role of property director.

But Sports Direct has released a statement this morning revealing that Murray is only working for the business as a consultant and “is not paid a salary.”

The retailer said Murray is leading a team that is “primarily tasked with finding new sites for both our larger format stores and our combined gym and retail units,” but added he was “not a director of any company within the Sports Direct Group”.

The statement, which does not address the nature of Murray’s relationship with Ashley’s daughter, continued: “His remuneration is based solely on creating value, with the company’s non-executive directors overseeing an independent review annually and deciding, in their absolute discretion, how much of any increased value (up to a maximum of 25%) shall be paid to Michael.”

It comes weeks after Sports Direct issued a detailed statement pledging to review staff conditions following what it dubbed the “unfair portrayal” of practices at its warehouse in Shirebrook.

And on Thursday the retailer pledged to pay staff above the national living wage in a move that is set to cost the business £10m a year.

Speaking to Retail Week exclusively in October, chief executive Dave Forsey vowed Sports Direct would do a “better” job of combating “negative media coverage.”

Forsey said: “We do take our responsibilities very seriously. We need to do a better job, myself included, in making sure our story comes across.”