Chris Ronnie, the chief executive of JJB Sports, the struggling UK sporting goods chain, has been suspended from his duties pending the outcome of an investigation into his share dealings. JJB revealed last week Ronnie no longer held any shares in the company after Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, the UK arm of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, took control of the bulk of his 29% stake.

“The board of JJB Sports has today suspended Chris Ronnie, the company's chief executive, from his duties under the terms of his service agreement,” the company said in a brief statement on Tuesday.

As KSF is in administration, the stake is currently held by administrators PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young.

Ronnie formed a joint venture with Icelandic financial group Exista to buy the stake in 2007 from JJB founder David Whelan.

JJB said last week that Mr Ronnie was unable to say when the shares were transferred. Kaupthing told the company that the stake was acquired during 2008, but has not confirmed the exact date of the transaction.

The company said in a statement that it had suspended Mr Ronnie from his duties “pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation being conducted by its legal advisers into certain matters”.

JJB said it would make a further announcement “in due course.”


Separately, JJB said it will have to pay its banks 8.3 million pounds in fees in return for an earlier agreement to postpone repayment of a debt. JJB, which last week issued a profit warning, said an agreement with lenders Barclays PLC.