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Sports Direct proposes new bonus scheme for Mike Ashley

Sports Direct is to make another attempt to pass a bonus scheme for its founder Mike Ashley after shareholders scuppered both previous attempts.

The retailer, which runs around 670 sports stores in the UK and Europe, has called a shareholder meeting on July 2 to implement the 2015 bonus scheme.

This plan will grant 25 million shares, worth around £200 million, among 3,000 employees, including Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United FC.

To achieve the payout the firm's earnings would have to hit £480 million at the end of the 2016 financial year and rise to £750 million by 2019. Last year the business posted annual underlying earnings of £287.9 million.

Mr Ashley's allocation of the bonus scheme will be decided later by the firm's remuneration committee if the meeting passes the plan.

Sports Direct pulled a scheme to award Mr Ashley more than £70 million in April after shareholders raised concerns that it was not in line with corporate best practice and did not include other company executives.

The business initially tried to hand Mr Ashley a bonus in September 2012, but again failed to win enough investor support.

Mr Ashley, who is deputy executive chairman at the retailer, has not received a salary or bonus since the retailer floated in 2007.

However, he netted £929 million in the flotation and has also since banked hundreds of millions of pounds by selling further shares in the business. He still owns 58% of the group.

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