The chairman of JD Sports said shareholders “may well” vote against his £ 4.3million bonus – which was handed to him despite the retailer having received millions of pounds in support during the pandemic.
But Peter Cowgill wondered why investors would do this “when the business has grown.”
JD Sports employees have received around £ 86million in paid leave worldwide, including £ 61million in the UK.
Mr Cowgill defended the planned £ 4.3million bonus on Monday, saying he had only received one long-term incentive payment in eight years.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4World to one program, he said shareholders could decide to vote against the bonus, which the Glass Lewis advisory group recommended in a recent report.
“They can do it very well, but I’m just saying why would you do it when the business has grown? Mr. Cowgill said.
He countered comparisons with non-essential retailers like Primark, which refunded money they claimed to keep staff on leave.
“As we speak today, we are under pressure on the Internet. The internet is a very small proportion of our income, the internet at Asos is 100% of their income, so comparing them is absolutely ridiculous, ”he said.
He said Primark, which is owned by AB Foods, gets a lot of its money from selling essentials.
The UK government launched its leave program to protect against job losses when businesses were forced to shut down during the pandemic.
Workers on leave received 80 percent of their regular wages with government assistance under the leave scheme.
“The leave payments, the leave receipts were used exactly for what they were prescribed for,” said Mr. Cowgill.
“In other words, we were a business that was not essential, that was closed, we took no income, so you can learn from overseas income.
The president of JD Sports added, “So we didn’t take that, we paid for that, we were actually very relaxed in terms of subsequent blockages in terms of a very slight time off.
“We used it to keep the job, we didn’t lay off.
Mr. Cowgill has been President of JD Sports since 2004.
Earlier this month, the retailer denied it was looking to recruit a new president amid reports it was planning a succession.
Additional reporting by the Press Association
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This notice was published: 2021-06-14 23:49:34