Goals Soccer Centres confirms Deloitte appointment amid sale speculation

Troubled five-a-side football pitch business Goals Soccer Centres has confirmed its has hired advisers to assess future options, which could see a sale of the listed firm.

Reports have suggested that the group, which had its shares suspended in March over a major accounting blunder, could be set for a sale within months.

Goals has now confirmed that it is engaging with Deloitte to review future strategy, as discussions continue to take place with HMRC over its finances.

In March, Goals announced that the accounting errors were so far estimated at £12 million, with the issue dating back several years.

It warned in early March over a material hit to 2018 profits after uncovering the accounting errors as part of a business review.

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley is the largest shareholder in the sports venue business, holding an 18.9% stake, and has been tipped as a potential bidder to buy the company outright.

Goals, which has 50 sites in the UK and US, had a market share of £20 million when its shares were suspended.

Last month, Goals warned over its results for both 2018 and 2019 following the VAT misdeclaration, and said it may not be able to complete its 2018 audit by its June 30 deadline.

Despite the warning, it gave assurances that talks with lenders “remain positive” and added that current trading has continued to be strong in the UK and US.

It was also dealt a blow last month with news that boss Andy Anson plans to quit after a year to become the new chief executive of the British Olympic Association.

The company has also today confirmed the appointment of Mike McGill as interim chief financial officer, replacing Martin Johnson who has been in the interim role since January 2019.

Mr McGill, who has previously worked at Baxter’s food Group, McDonald Hotels and the Murray Group, will take over the role on July 31.