Making sense of the past seven days
The decision of chairman David Richardson to quit Sports Direct yesterday should, if anyone needed convincing, be the final proof that this retailer does not belong in the public arena.

Richardson, who has a City pedigree second-to-none, was brought in to give Mike Ashley's company much needed credibility when it floated in February.

Having sold it to a gullible City, he has clearly realised that a leopard never changes its spots and yesterday walked away, claiming he had been 'unable to establish a strong working relationship with the executive team'. The acting chairman, former Blacks boss Simon Bentley, is known to be a close ally of Ashley and a big-name hiring will be necessary to prove that the board does not see the role of chairman as being a management stooge.

Sports Direct is a farce and those analysts who recommended the shares and are now pulling back their recommendations should be ashamed, because it never provided any evidence that it had changed. Finance director Bob Mellors remains slightly less elusive than Lord Lucan, while it is anyone's guess how long the new brokers and PR advisers will last.

No one has ever doubted that Ashley is a hugely talented retailer and one of the great entrepreneurs of our time, but his scant regard for corporate governance means the company should have remained firmly in private hands.

Ashley, of course, won't care as he counts the£900 million he walked away from the float with. But the promises of expansion into the US and of growth that would turn the company into the world's biggest sports retailer now sound hollow indeed.

Retail Week's scoop on John Clare's retirement from DSGi caught the company unawares, prompting the hastily put out statement that emerged from its Hemel Hempstead headquarters yesterday.

It has been a tough past year for Clare, with his aggressive internationalisation strategy coming under scrutiny after scandals in France and a poor performance in Italy.

But no-one should ignore the phenomenal change he has wrought at the former Dixons Group. The pace of change in its market has been such that if Clare had failed to take the bold actions he has, it could be in much worse shape than it is today.