I omitted to pick up the fact disclosed in William Hill (WMH)’s results statement a few days ago that the directors have decided to refund to HMG £24.5m furlough money where there is no legal obligation to do so. Why on earth? More interestingly it looks to me as if the directors are in breach of S 172 of the Companies Act 2006 which forbids such cheerful gestures of largesse.
It might be different if in fact HMG had rendered some spectacular service to WMH (although why that action would have generated a liability of £24.5m is not clear at all). But, far from it. WMH has been hampered by HMG at every turn this last few years.
It would be interesting to know if the company secretary/lawyers at WMH properly briefed the board. Perhaps Fred Done of BetFred has a sufficiently large interest to persuade him to check. It’s his money that WMH are talking about.