Sports Direct boss apologises over attempts to keep stores open during coronavirus crisis

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has apologised over his attempts to keep stores open during coronavirus crisis.
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The multi-millionaire came under fire for his efforts to keep trading despite a government ban on none-essential stores opening during the Covid-19 outbreak.

He has since apologised in an open letter and has now offered his fleet of lorries to the NHS to help move supplies and equipment around the country during the pandemic.

The businessman, whose Sports Direct headquarters and distribution centre are in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, described his emails and communications to staff and the government as ‘ill-judged and poorly timed’.

The Sports Direct distribution centre at ShirebrookThe Sports Direct distribution centre at Shirebrook
The Sports Direct distribution centre at Shirebrook

In his letter, Mr Ashley said: “Our intentions were only to seek clarity from the Government as to whether we should keep some of our stores open; we would never have acted against their advice.

“In hindsight, our emails to the Government were ill-judged and poorly timed, when they clearly had much greater pressures than ours to deal with.

“On top of this, our communications to our employees and the public on this was poor.

“There has been no dress rehearsal for what we as a nation as currently tackling, and I for one am immensely proud of how our Government, our NHS and all of our key workers have handled the situation so far.

“To reiterate, I am deeply apologetic about the misunderstandings of the last few days. We will learn from this and will try not to make the same mistakes in the future.”