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Sports Direct shareholders launch revolt

By Ravender Sembhy

Independent shareholders have vented their anger at under-fire Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell, with 53% voting against his reappointment.

The Mike Ashley-owned company, which will soon have nine stores in Northern Ireland, said that it was "disappointed" with the decision.

Mr Hellawell added: "I take this clear message from our independent shareholders seriously and I will do my best to address their concerns and earn their confidence over the next year.

"I have confirmed today that should I not receive the support of a majority of our independent shareholders at next year's AGM, I will step down at that time with immediate effect."

Mr Hellawell received the backing of over 81% of all shareholders, including Mr Ashley, who owns 55% of the company.

It was also revealed that the chairman offered to quit over the weekend, but stayed on after the board, including Mr Ashley, backed him to continue.

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