Derbyshire-based Sports Direct has lashed out at an influential shareholder lobby group, accusing it of "fake news" for claims over its executive pay ratios.
The retailer said a report by Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) "incorrectly claims that Sports Direct had a chief executive-to-average employee pay ratio of 400:1, the second highest in the FTSE 350".
The data sets used in the study were "incorrect", according to the retailer, and based on a bonus entitlement which was accrued by former chief executive Dave Forsey, but was never paid out.
A Sports Direct spokesman said:
Sports Direct added that the true ratio over 2012 to 2015, had it paid out, would have been "closer to 9:1".
The owner of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley, who came under fire from MPs over "Victorian" working conditions at the firm's warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, last year, has been a busy man recently.
Last week the tycoon said Sports Direct will appoint an employees' representative who will attend board meetings following the uproar over working conditions.
He has also snapped up an 11% stake in French Connection and upped the position Sports Direct has in Debenhams to above 11%.