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JD Sports faces second shareholder revolt over executive pay

Tom Shearsmith
03 August 2020

Sportswear retailer JD Sports has faced backlash from shareholders this weekend at its annual meeting over salaries and bonuses for its executives.

The retailer saw 32% of its shareholders vote against its remuneration report, while 30% disagreed on performance-related bonuses.

According to The Telegraph, the company said it was particularly disappointed with the level of opposition since it had invested “considerable time and resources” to improve its pay.

JD Sports shares plunged 10.2% to 721.9p in December 2019, after the company’s largest investor sold holdings worth £177 million.

In April 2020, JD Sports confirmed its directors have taken voluntary pay-cuts to help the business through the COVID-19 crisis.

Board and senior management had all voluntarily agreed to a temporary 25% pay cut while chairman Peter Cowgill has volunteered for a 75% pay cut.

Cowgill sold shares worth £13.3 million last month but currently retains a stake of almost one per cent in the business.

The chairman is now suggesting that any potential future drop in footfall and sales will derive from the government’s rule that face coverings should be worn in shops, which he claims would probably prove a “turn off” for its teenagers and twentysomethings buyers.

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