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Mike Ashley "deeply apologetic" about Sports Direct response to the coronavirus lockdown

Mike Ashley Credit: PA

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley says he is "deeply apologetic" about the way his company has responded to the lockdown imposed by the government during the coronavirus outbreak.

Frasers Group, which owns Sports Direct, published an open letter on Friday morning apologising for the way the company has acted.

The letter went on to offer use of the company's truck fleet to the NHS for the delivery of supplies in the fight against coronavirus.

Ashley was widely criticised after Sports Direct had suggested that they were an essential operator to keep the nation fit, including by MPs from our region.

Sports Direct Credit: PA

The letter is summarised below:

Our intentions were only to seek clarity from the Government as to whether we should keep some of our stores open; we would never have acted against their advice."

"In hindsight, our emails to the Government were ill-judged and poorly timed, when they clearly had much greater pressures than ours to deal with.

"On top of this, our communications to our employees and the public on this was poor.

"To reiterate, I am deeply apologetic about the misunderstandings of the last few days. We will learn from this and will try not to make the same mistakes in the future."

– Mike Ashley

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