// JD Sports is facing criticism from investors for paying £4.3m in bonuses to executive chairman Peter Cowgill
// The retailer received £61m through the UK furlough scheme & received £38m from business rates relief
JD Sports is facing an investor backlash after handing its boss a £4.3m bonus despite taking tens of millions of pounds in government support.
Executive chairman Peter Cowgill’s total pay, including a short-term salary reduction, reached nearly £5m.
In a report, the shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis recommended that investors vote against the retailer’s “inappropriate” pay policy.
The group said the retailer should have substantially reduced or scrapped its bonus awards.
It also said shareholders should oppose Cowgill’s re election due to inadequate succession planning and a lack of progress on boardroom gender diversity, the Sunday Times reported.
The retailer received £61m through the UK furlough scheme and benefited from an estimated £38m from business rates relief.
It benefitted from an additional £25m in wage support from other countries where it operates, including the US.
JD Sports was also granted a £300m 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 had not used any of the loan by the time the scheme closed in March.
As a non-essential retailer, JD Sports was forced to close during lockdown. However, the company, which has stores across the UK, Europe, the US and Asia Pacific, reported a 0.9 per cent rise in revenues to £6.1bn as it shifted sales to online.
Pre-tax profit fell by 7 per cent to £324m.
JD Sport’s annual meeting is scheduled for 1 July when shareholders will be invited to vote on the company’s remuneration report among other topics.