Sports Direct shareholders have been urged to vote against Mike Ashley at the company’s annual general meeting on September 12.
Proxy adviser Glass Lewis & Co has recommended shareholders challenge chief executive Mike Ashley and chairman Keith Hellawell.
Ashley is accused by Glass Lewis of “repeated poor governance practices”, adding that negative media stories against Ashley have damaged the company’s public image.
Meanwhile Hellawell, chairman of the audit committee Simon Bentley and chairman of the remuneration committee David Brayshaw were accused by the proxy advisor of responding poorly to past concerns of shareholders.
Glass Lewis also pointed to the retailers “poor gender diversity practices”, arguing that Sports Direct does not have a meaningful board diversity policy or measurable gender objectives.
Currently Sports Direct does not have a single female board member.
The comments come as Mike Ashley’s negotiations over the acquisition of House of Fraser unfold, with the department store owing close to £1 billion to debtors.
Ashley has so far refused to take honour the bills of the retailer’s former owners.