For the first time Mike Ashley, the Founder and Deputy Chairman of Sports Direct, has admitted that the firm must improve working conditions at their main warehouse in Derbyshire, according to a letter to staff seen by the Telegraph.
Ashley is due to appear before MPs today after a last minute U-turn. This follows a deluge of criticism that includes an expose by The Guardian, a documentary by the BBC and accusations of Victorian practises by former Labour leader Ed Miliband.
"This has been a difficult year for the company”, he says in the letter.
He goes on to thank workers for their “hard work” during a “challenging time”.
He notes that all staff – agency workers included – earn over the minimum wage, and that he has identified the need for improvements to security procedures.
He also said that CEO Dave Forsey will not be taking his four-year bonus, which is potentially worth up to £4million.
Speaking of his decision to face MPs, he said: “I have always believed that we have nothing to hide.”
In a letter confirming his attendance to Iain Wright, Chairman of the Business Innovation and Skills Committee, he wrote: “NOTHING TO HIDE.”