Online home shopping group Findel has announced that it has decided to go against the proposed move of appointing Mike Ashley as its new chairman.

Findel revealed the news within its latest AGM statement, where it also reported an overall sales uptick of 5.3% on the prior year for the 17-week period to 22 July 2016.

It was confirmed on 1 July that Findel and Sports Direct were in ‘early stage discussions’ regarding over a supply arrangement between Express Gifts and SDI, which Findel remains in favour of, but SDI has applied the brakes on such a merger until the role of Ashley is identified after rejecting proposals to make him chairman.

In a statement Findel said: “The Board remains of the view that there is merit in a commercial supply agreement with SDI, but SDI are unwilling to take this forward until the role of Mike Ashley on the Findel board is clarified. Discussions on both topics are ongoing.

“The Board has decided not to appoint Mike Ashley as chairman and will now move as quickly as possible to appoint an independent executive chairman. 

“As a result of the delays to this appointment, David Sugden will continue as executive chairman beyond his planned departure date until such time as a replacement has been appointed.”

Findel reported a ‘very strong’ start for its Express Gifts business, with sales growing 14.5% for the year to date, while confirming that overall Group performance is expected to be line for the full year.