Friday, 9 October 2015

Sports Direct chief exec faces criminal charge over USC collapse

Even since I blogged earlier things have got worse for Sports Direct. The Grauniad broke the news that the company's chief executive Dave Forsey is facing a criminal charge over the USC collapse.
David Forsey, the chief executive of Sports Direct, has been charged with a criminal offence relating to the collapse of its fashion retailer USC.
The 49-year-old businessman is accused of failing to notify authorities of plans to lay off warehouse staff in Scotland, around 200 of whom were given just 15 minutes notice by USC’s administrator in January that they were losing their jobs. Forsey was sent his summons in July and his case is scheduled to be heard at Chesterfield magistrates’ court next week.
The UK Insolvency Service said: “We can confirm that criminal proceedings have been commenced against David Michael Forsey. He is charged with an offence contrary to section 194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
“The investigation into the conduct of the directors is ongoing. The inquiries are at an early stage and given the criminal proceedings it is not possible nor would it be appropriate to comment any further.”
This also reminded me of these comments from one of Sports Direct's major investors shortly before last month's AGM.
[A] top ten Sports Direct institutional shareholder has privately accused the retailer’s critics of having a “fundamental illiteracy of capitalism”.
“Unions and capitalism are not a natural fit but it is important to remember that Sport Direct has not broken any laws," the City investor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Telegraph.
Well, now it looks like Sports Direct may have broken the law. What is more, I can't believe that anyone who has followed this company can be surprised by this development. The warning signs have been there for a long time, was simply a question of when they would trip up. In fact, the entire commentary from the mystery investor in that Telegraph piece is worth reading just to remind yourself of the education job people in the labour movement working on capital stewardship have to do. Some of these asset managers just don't seem to understand capitalism...

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