Sports Direct reveals bonus payout to staff

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Troubled retailer Sports Direct said it will dish out £43 million in share bonuses to staff.

The scandal-hit firm said nearly 2,000 workers would receive 11.1 million ordinary shares which had vested at 390p, creating a bonus pool of £43 million.

It means staff which had taken part in a share scheme at the start of 2011 could net an average of £5,550 in shares.

The announcement comes just days after chairman Keith Hellawell scraped a majority backing for his re-election from independent shareholders during the firm's annual general meeting.

Sports Direct AGM
A worker in the Sports Direct warehouse in Shirebrook (PA)

The former West Yorkshire Police chief constable also defended the company's decision not to shift some temporary staff onto full-time contracts and ruled out an independent review of working practices and corporate governance.

Focusing on the bonus awards, chief executive Mike Ashley said: "The people at Sports Direct deserve every penny of these bonuses.

"It's thanks to their magnificent achievements and fantastic loyalty that we are able to make progress towards becoming the 'Selfridges' of sport."

Sports Direct AGM
Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell (right) arrives at the company headquarters in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire ahead of its annual general meeting.

The bonuses will come on the top of normal wages paid out to staff.

The company said in its annual report that permanent and temporary staff will receive awards of around £19 million this year.

In 2013, approximately 2,000 Sports Direct staff secured an average of £70,000 after sharing £135 million in shares.

A spokesman for Sports Direct said: "It our policy to treat all people at Sports Direct with dignity and respect and we will continue to make positive difference."