Five-a-side firm draws bid interest

FootballA leading five-a-side football pitch operator has confirmed it is in the takeover sights of one of Canada's biggest pension funds.

Goals Soccer Centres, which has 42 UK sites, has received an approach from Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan but added the interest was at an early stage and that there was no certainty an offer will be forthcoming.
Shares in East Kilbride-based Goals jumped 21%, giving it a market value of around £63 million.

Ontario Teachers is already home to a number of leading Canadian sports assets, including the Toronto FC Major League Soccer team. The business invests the pension assets and administers the pensions of 295,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario.

Goals experienced softer than expected trading over the summer but a marketing campaign under the "Get Back in the Game" banner resulted in a turnaround in fortunes over the remainder of last year.

Across 2011, Goals saw a 1% rise in like-for-like sales, while underlying profits increased by 11% to £13.8 million.

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Five-a-side firm draws bid interest

Little surprise that football's wonder-kid is in at number one, with a whopping £27.5 million of earnings over the last year. As well as some truly astounding performances for Barcelona, Messi has a signature clothing range with Adidas and is set to become the new cover star for EA sports games.

The Portuguese captain is not only the most expensive player in the world, he's also got more followers of Twitter than any other sportsman. Combine that with an huge ongoing deal with Nike and he's raking in £24.3 million.

The Cameroon international made his name in La Liga, playing for Barcelona, but sees his earnings shoot up in a multi-million pound deal with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala which brings his pay to £19.4 million.

Recently retired Beckham is the highest earner in British sport, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. 'Brand Beckham' that has seen the 38-year-old amass a fortune of £165 million from endorsement deals and salary payments from his company, Footwork Productions, over the last decade. But Beckham is still some way off the richest sportsman in the world - golfer Tiger Woods, who is worth a staggering £570m.

Despite a year of scandal for Manchester United's star striker, he's in the top five highest earners for the first time in his career - and his pay? A healthy £17.2 million.

The Argentinian is one of the real high-rollers at Manchester City, and has made his performances match his impressive salary. Combine that with a Puma sponsorship and he's on £15.7 million.

Aguero's team mate is another top performer at City, and he also has deal with Puma. One of football's good guys, Toure donates all his Puma boot sponsorship money to charity - which still leaves him with £14.7 million.

The baby-faced Spaniard might have had a tough time of things since his move to Chelsea, but the tidy sum they pay him means he's in the top ten for the first time - with £13.9 million of earnings from wages and sponsorship from Nike and Pepsi.

With a very tidy pay cheque from Real Madrid and sponsorship deals with EA sports and Adidas, Kaka is on a very comfortable £12.9 million.

The new German captain and a star at Bayern Munich, his recent success has propelled him into the top ten for the first time, with a very tidy £11.9 million.

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A typical Goals centre has between nine and 14 floodlit courts with pitches made from artificial grass, which is designed to look and feel like real turf, parking for about 100 cars and a licensed bar. Around three-quarters of its revenues came from football bookings during 2011.

It has added 10 new centres to its estate in the last two years - most recently at Sunderland, Liverpool, Norwich and Hull - but has kicked new openings into touch while it focuses on improving performance and tackling an appeal against the taxman's change in VAT status for block league bookings.

The company recently received a boost when it entered into a new four-year banking agreement with Lloyds Banking Group totalling £56 million.

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