May 4, 2017

Sports Direct non-executive director steps down

Sports Direct has announced the resignation of Claire Jenkins, a non-executive director whose abrupt departure follows a tumultuous year in which shareholders twice tried to oust the retailer's chairman, only to be vetoed by the maverick tycoon they were trying to rein in. In a terse statement to the stock exchange on Thursday, Sports Direct gave no reason for her resignation "With immediate effect" from the company's board. Britain's biggest sportswear chain, which has no finance director and last year lost its longtime chief executive after a scandal over labour abuses at its Shirebrook warehouse, has made a series of costly financial commitments despite suffering falling profits as sterling fell sharply and consumers proved unwilling to spend on clothes. Months earlier, Sports Direct warned that profits would be at least £15m lower, after a belated attempt to hedge against the fall in sterling ended up locking in an especially disadvantageous rate, when the pound briefly touched $1.19 during a volatile bout of overnight trading. Sports Direct has long endured a turbulent relationship with the City.

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