Business

FA chairman David Bernstein resigns from Blacks Leisure

David Bernstein
Image caption David Bernstein is also chairman of the Football Association

David Bernstein has resigned as chairman of struggling outdoor goods retailer Blacks Leisure.

Mr Bernstein, who is also chairman of the Football Association, said he was leaving to avoid divisions at the firm.

Sports Direct, which owns 21% of the chain, voted against his re-appointment at the firm's AGM in July.

Sports Direct is controlled by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who has seen the value of its stake in Blacks fall since it first invested in 2007.

Blacks said that Mr Bernstein decided to step down because "the company needed a unified shareholder base". He had been chairman of the firm for 10 years.

The company has been badly hit by the High Street slowdown. Like-for-like sales in the 19 weeks to 9 July fell 9.7% and the firm announced an increase in its overall debt levels.

The former boss of lingerie firm Figleaves, Julia Reynolds, became the company's new chief executive on 1 August in an effort to turn round the company.

And Blacks recently extended its lending facility with the Bank of Scotland to £40m giving it an extra £2m until 15 December.

However, there has been speculation that the retailer may need to turn to shareholders - including Mr Ashley - for more cash to fund its plans.

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