Sports Direct’s auditor Grant Thornton quits

Mark Johnson's picture

Struggling retailer Sports Direct has announced that its longstanding auditor, Grant Thornton, has quit.

The company issued a statement via the London Stock Exchange, saying that Thornton “following a review of its client portfolio… intends not to seek reappointment as the Company's auditors and will cease to hold office as auditors of the Company with effect from 11 September 2019”.

Grant Thornton has worked as the sports brand's auditor since 2007.

The London-listed UK sports retailer is now struggling to find a replacement auditor after it said last month that talks with the nation's other so-called ‘Big Four’ accounting groups had not been successful.

One of those, PwC, was reportedly reluctant to deal with the controversial sports firm, which is headed up by equally controversial billionaire Mike Ashley.

Bizarre full year results behaviour

Last month Sports Direct’s annual results were delayed for days when the company said it had received an unexpected £605m tax bill from the Belgian government, which it claimed had to be assessed by Grant Thornton before the results could be released.

The bizarre circumstances around the results and surprise tax bill sent jitters through the stock market driving the in-store and online sports brand's shares to an eight year low.

Sports Direct’s shares fell more than 6.5% to £2.20 today, following the announcement that Thornton had quit.

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