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JD Sports faces executive pay controversy

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

14 Jun 2021

A backlash about excessive executive pay has ensued after JD Sports remunerated its chairman Peter Cowgill nearly 5 million pounds in a salary and bonuses, despite the company receiving 61 million pounds during the UK furlough scheme and a further estimated 38 million pounds in business rates relief.

Glass Lewis, a shareholder advisory company, says the pay policy is “inappropriate” and according to the Sunday Times is recommending investors vote against its current remuneration structure.

According to the BBC, JD Sports was also granted a 300 million pound loan through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme which was set up to help larger firms through the pandemic. JD Sports said it has not used funds from the loan. Unlike the retailers who were hardest hit during the pandemic, JD Sports saw revenues rise 0.9 percent to 6.1 billion pounds as it focussed on e-commerce and a digital-first strategy.

JD Sports previously remunerated 3 million pounds prior to the Covid pandemic, but delayed a 1.5 million pound payment due in October 2020. The company said in its annual report: “In the light of developments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was agreed that the remaining payments would be deferred and paid when the board and committee were satisfied it is appropriate to do so.”