Grant Thornton resigns as Sports Direct’s auditor

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Grant Thornton is to resign as Sports Direct’s auditor, leaving the company in a bind to find a replacement. The news follows the retailer’s delayed results and the revelation that the Shirebrook-based firm has been the subject of a tax audit in Belgium, receiving a payment notice from the Belgian tax authorities for €674 million.

A statement from Sports Direct reads: “Subsequent to the publication of Sports Direct’s annual report and accounts on 13 August 2019, on 13 August 2019 Sports Direct received notice from Grant Thornton UK LLP (GT) that, following a review of its client portfolio, GT intends not to seek reappointment as the Company’s auditors and will cease to hold office as auditors of the Company with effect from 11 September 2019, being the date of the Company’s annual general meeting.”

Sports Direct had intended to continue with Grant Thornton as auditor due to their experience with the retailer, according to its Annual Report, and noted that discussions with the Big 4 had thrown up barriers, highlighting conflicts of interest.