Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has launched a furious attack on his firm’s shareholders, accusing them of stabbing him and the company in the back.
He said shareholders had failed to support him and chairman Keith Hellawell, who resigned on Wednesday.
Mr Ashley denounced the “media circus” surrounding the firm and said “true entrepreneurs” would never be accepted.
Mr Hellawell stepped down after it emerged he was unlikely to be re-elected at the firm’s annual meeting.
In his statement, Mr Ashley said shareholders had “made it extremely challenging for future engagement to take place”.
He went on: “On the one hand they are delighted with our performance and progress, yet with the other hand they have stabbed Sports Direct and myself in the back by repeatedly hounding Keith Hellawell.”
Mr Ashley added: “It is blatantly apparent that true entrepreneurs will never be accepted in the public arena.
“The media circus surrounding Sports Direct, including but not restricted to matters connected to our AGM, only proves that whatever progress Sports Direct makes, it will always be subject to disproportionate scrutiny and misrepresentation.”