Raymond Doherty 14 Aug 2019 02:40pm

Sports Direct confirms Grant Thornton resignation

Troubled retailer Sports Direct has revealed that its auditor Grant Thornton has quit

Reports last month suggested Grant Thornton was set to resign and Sports Direct confirmed it today with a statement to the stock exchange.

Neither Sports Direct nor Grant Thornton elaborated on the reason for the split. A spokesperson for the firm said, “I can confirm that following a review of our client portfolio, we have notified Sports Direct International PLC of our intention to cease in our role as statutory auditors from 11 September 2019.”

It was reported in July that the mid-tier audit firm made the decision because of a last minute tax bill disclosure.

The Mike Ashley-owned sports chain revealed a £616m tax bill from Belgian authorities just hours before GT was due to sign off its accounts.

It is a further blow to the reputation of Sports Direct, which has been mired in controversy for a number of years.

Earlier this month, the company blamed GT for being under increased scrutiny from the FRC for the delay in publishing its annual results.

It was reported last year that three of the Big Four firms turned down the opportunity to tender for Sports Direct’s contract because of concern over conflicts of interest or reputational risk issues.