July 1 (Reuters) - The head of UK’s Sports Direct has slammed German sportswear maker Adidas as anti-competitive, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday, and the paper said the British sporting goods retailer “is understood to have reported” Adidas to the competition authorities.
Dave Forsey, chief executive of Britain’s biggest sporting goods company, told the paper that the company was ‘active with the authorities’ in an escalating row with Adidas over the supply of replica football shirts and World Cup merchandise.
Forsey’s comments came ahead of a Sports Direct meeting set for Wednesday where investors are due to vote on a proposal that could potentially award shares worth 200 million pounds ($340 million) to founder Mike Ashley as well as to an undisclosed number of employees. The Telegraph said investors “are expected to reject” the bonus payout.
Sports Direct and Adidas could not immediately be reached for comment outside of regular working hours.
Adidas had not supplied the UK retailer with replica shirts for the teams it sponsors at the World Cup, including Argentina, Germany, Spain and Columbia, the Telegraph said.
Adidas Chief Executive Herbert Hainer told the daily in a interview over the weekend that the company was keen to work with Sports Direct, but wanted the retailer to improve the presentation in stores. (bit.ly/1qvDNJm)
In response Sports Direct’s Forsey said Adidas was blocking the company from key products, the Telegraph reported.
The daily quoted Forsey as claiming that Adidas’ only concern was the discounts his company offered shoppers.
“We believe it is all about price. That is the only conclusion we can come to,” he was quoted as saying. (Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by David Gregorio)