Belfast Telegraph

Bumper pay day for Sports bosses

Two bosses at Sports Direct shared in a windfall totalling nearly £13 million when they cashed in share options under a bonus scheme.

Chief executive Dave Forsey and finance director Bob Mellors each made around £6.4 million after picking up a million cut-price shares apiece before selling most of them at a large profit, on top of basic salaries of £150,000.

It comes months after the sportswear empire, controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, was attacked over the disclosure that thousands of its workers were employed on zero-hours contracts.

The sell-off saw the value of the stock, recently promoted to the FTSE 100, fall 2%.

Mr Forsey and Mr Mellors each picked up a million shares at their nominal value of 10p each, before each selling 950,000 at 680p. It leaves each man with a stake of just 50,000 shares in the company.

Latest annual results for Sports Direct showed the group reporting a 40% leap in pre-tax profits to £207.2 million for the year to April 28 as 3,000 staff were lined up for lucrative share bonuses.

It meant that an employee on a salary of £20,000 a year in 2009 would pick up 12,000 shares, worth more than £68,000.

But soon afterwards it emerged that all of its 20,000 part-time staff were employed on zero-hours contracts, leaving them not knowing how many hours they would work from week to week, with no sick pay or holiday pay, leading unions to voice concern.

Latest trading figures from Sports Direct showed it posted sales of £613.3 million for the 13 weeks to the end of July, a rise of 18.2% year-on-year, resulting in a 23.2% jump in trading profits to £260.1 million.