Blacks director fired after accounting irregularities

A director has been axed from the board of Blacks Leisure following an
investigation into accounting irregularities at its Sandcity subsidiary.

Darren Spurling was suspended earlier this year after it emerged that
earnings at Sandcity – which sells O’Neill branded outdoor wear – were
overstated by about £1m.

Spurling leaves the company without a payoff. It is understood that the
police are not involved, the

‘There’s no suggestion of fraud and no cash left the business,’ a spokesman

Blacks also cut its profits in January, after a review of the ailing business
by newly appointed chief executive Neil Gillis, after the accounting
irregularities emerged.

The group also announced that its FD and chief executive Keith Fleming has
resigned to pursue opportunities with another private equity group.

Fleming will be replaced by group finance director Marc Lombardo, who joins
Blacks from Greene King Plc, where he is currently Group Financial Planning

Lombardo has previously held positions with Scottish & Newcastle and the
Daily Mail.

Blacks Leisure chairman David Bernstein said: ‘Marc Lombardo is an
experienced and talented finance executive and I am delighted to welcome him to
the Blacks senior team. I am confident that he will work well with Neil Gillis
to implement the turnaround plan.

‘Keith has played an important role in the development of Blacks Leisure both
as Finance Director and as Interim Chief Executive where he played a key role in
steadying the business at a time of significant change. He leaves with our best
wishes for his new venture.’

Further reading:

Blacks sweats over BDO

Auditors uncover £2m hole at Blacks subsidiary

Blacks suspends director after accounting error

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