Next boss of Shirebrook's Sports Direct in line for £100 million bonus

The next boss of Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct brand, based at Shirebrook, could be in line for a £100 million bonus.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 2:40 pm
Billionaire tycoon Mike Ashley, who runs Sports Direct and owns Newcastle United Football Club.

Michael Murray, who is engaged to be married to Ashley’s daughter, Anna, becomes chief executive next May of the Frasers Group, which owns Sports Direct.

And the 31-year-old has been promised the bonus plan by billionaire tycoon Ashley if the company’s share price reaches £15 for 30 trading days in a row before October, 2025. Its current level is about £6.50.

Mr Murray, who is currently in charge of modernising stores and transforming the business, has also been recommended by the board of Frasers Group to be paid a £1 million annual salary.

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The Sports Direct headquarters in Shirebrook.

Shareholders are set to vote on that, and the proposed bonus scheme, at the annual general meeting of the group, which also owns House Of Fraser, on September 29.

In the past, Sports Direct has been criticised for the low wages it pays its 3,000 staff at warehouses at the Sports Direct headquarters at Brook Park, the former Shirebrook Colliery site.

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Mr Ashley, 56, who also owns Newcastle United Football Club, is due to step down as chief executive when his future son-in-law takes over, but will remain on the board as an executive director.

He founded Sports Direct in 1982 and retains 64 per cent of the group. He is listed as the 61st richest person in the UK, with an estimated net worth of £2.7 billion.

Sports Direct is the UK’s largest sports good retailer, with 700 stores across Europe, including one at the St Peter’s Retail Park in Mansfield.

It was renamed Frasers in December, 2019 after the takeoever of House Of Fraser, but stores retained the Sports Direct brand.

In 2016, Sports Direct promised to end zero-hours contracts and offer its workers guaranteed hours. But unions have since accused the firm of breaking that pledge.

The company also attracted criticism for continuing to recruit workers on zero-hours contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Murray has been working for the firm for several years, and a statement issued by the board of Frasers underlines highly he is regarded.

It reads: “Michael’s share option award is suitably challenging, but achievable, and would be evidence of the success of the group’s elevation strategy and his leading role in this.”

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