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  1. ITV Report

Sports Direct sacks House of Fraser directors and senior management weeks after takeover

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has dismissed the directors and senior management of House of Fraser weeks after purchasing the department store chain.

The shake-up is part of the tycoon's ambitious plans for House of Fraser after he brought the chain out of administration in a £90 million takeover.

Mike Ashley previously said he aims to turn the 58 House of Fraser stores into the "Harrods of the high street".

Around 3,500 jobs have been safeguarded since the takeover. Credit: PA

In an announcement to the London Stock Exchange, Sports Direct said: "Following the collapse of House of Fraser on August 10 2018, and subsequent calls for an investigation into the circumstances of that collapse, the Company today announces that we have dismissed the former Directors and senior management of House of Fraser."

This comes after Mr Ashley was unable to save outlets in Edinburgh, Hull and Swindon after landlords failed to come to new terms agreements after the takeover, with Mr Ashley labelling them "greedy".

It is understood that landlords are reluctant to agree to the low, or in some cases zero, rents but negotiations so far have resulted in safeguarding around 3,500 jobs.

Richard Lim, of consultancy Retail Economics, said the dismissal showed there was a "momentous challenge at hand".

He said: "Drastic action has been taken following a series of woeful management decisions, clumsy execution and an outdated perception of the UK market.

"The new management team will need to prioritise right-sizing initiatives and utilise any excess space to sweat assets more effectively in a move become fit-for-purpose in today's digital age."