Some Sports Direct shareholders are expected to vote against the re-election of its board in protest of founder Mike Ashley’s bonus. Retail Week asks whether that would harm the business.

“There is no doubt that some sort of revolt would be problematic and take up senior management time. Mike is the lifeblood of the business and has created loads of shareholder value. He’s added billions to the market cap of that company and is a brilliant retailer. The Sports Direct investment case is emerging, in some ways for the good and in some ways for the worse and analysing this may well prove to be a better use of shareholders’ time.”

Jonathan Pritchard, Oriel Securities


“Sports Direct is an unusual company and Mike Ashley may feel that he doesn’t need stuffy old UK pension funds to like everything he does. But on mature reflection he will hopefully realise that it’s best to play the City game by the rules.”

Nick Bubb, independent analyst and consultant at Zeus Capital


I don’t think it will damage the business. It will rumble on as it has in the past. Mike Ashley has 58% of equity and as the vote [at Wednesday’s shareholder meeting] showed the bulk of shareholders have backed him. He might encounter some problems if Sports Direct underperforms but the momentum is with him.”

Freddie George, Cantor Fitzgerald


“No, it won’t affect the business. The shareholders who bought into Sports Direct bought into it after its IPO. They knew what they were getting into. They can’t appoint their own board.”

Kate Calvert, Investec