Mike Ashley hands son-in-law more than £15m in fees

Frasers Group boss Mike Ashley has handed his son-in-law more than £15m in fees over the last four years, it has emerged. 

The FTSE 250 retail business yesterday revealed it paid Michael Murray, who is married to Anna, Ashley’s eldest daughter, another £4.3m this year for finding property for the business. 

The company – previously known as Sports Direct – justified the enormous payment saying that the former nightclub promoter received a cut of the ‘value created’ from property purchases. 

Hot property: Michael Murray is married to Ashley’s eldest daughter Anna

Hot property: Michael Murray is married to Ashley’s eldest daughter Anna

Hot property: Michael Murray is married to Ashley’s eldest daughter Anna

Shareholder advisory group Pirc said: ‘The issue of payments to Mike Ashley’s family has not gone away since Pirc first raised it several years ago. It’s not acceptable for a listed company – the whole board must ensure Frasers Group is not run like a fiefdom.’ 

Murray’s firm, MM Prop Consultancy, received £4.3m this year, £5.3m last year, and £5.2m in the year to April 2018. He also invoiced £300,000 in 2017 for ‘property planning & development costs’. 

The vast sums he has been awarded stand in stark contrast to the pay curbs imposed on other key figures at Frasers Group. 

The company capped finance chief Chris Wootton’s pay at £40,000 due to the impact of coronavirus. 

Wootton yesterday said: ‘We think we get a very good deal for the work Michael has done – it’s fantastic value for the group.’

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