Sports Direct controversy is hurting UK Plc, says Institute of Directors

Controversy around Sports Direct is having 'a damaging affect on British business right across the board', says Institute of Directors

Shareholders have been angered by the controversy around the company

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The controversy around Mike Ashley and Sports Direct has damaged British business across the board, according to one the UK’s biggest business support bodies. 

Oliver Parry, head of corporate governance at the Institute of Directors, told talkRADIO that the company's zero-hours contracts and the allegations of poor labour relations are "really having a damaging affect on British business right across the board.

At the company's AGM independent shareholders opposed the reelection of company chairman Keith Hellawell. However Mike Ashley asked for time to regain shareholders' confidence and said there will be another vote on the issue. Executives faced calls to change the way the business is run, and Ashley claims he will leave if he fails to solve problems. 

"It's absolutely right that we do focus on individuals like Mike Ashley," Parry explained. "He's effectively playing with other people's money.

"Reputational issues like the kind faced by Sports Direct will have a direct on the share price, you saw on Tuesday when the report into working conditions bounced slightly, and during the AGM the shares effectively tanked.

"Shareholders have had concerns about the running of that company for a very long time."

Listen to the full interview to find out more