Goals Soccer Centres plc to be delisted from AIM following accounting irregularities

Goals Soccer Centres Plc said that its shares will be delisted from the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) following the discovery of more irregularities in the company’s accounts

Shares in the company were suspended from trading on AIM in March following the discovery of irregularities in VAT accounting going back several years and valued at more than £12m. Now the company says it has discovered ‘improper behaviour within the company’ involving a number of individuals going back to at least 2010.

Work on its full-year 2018 audit has been put on hold while it investigates prior year financial statements, it said.

Resumption of trading in the shares would depend on publication of audited accounts for 2018 by 30 September, but the directors believe this will not be possible. As a consequence, they expect shares to be delisted from AIM by 30 September.

The company said there have been no material developments in its discussions with HMRC over the value of the VAT owed.

Some 19% of shares in the company are owned by Mike Ashley, boss of Sports Direct which recently announced that it was delaying publication of its annual results, citing ‘complexities’ related to the purchase of House of Fraser and a request from auditors Grant Thornton for more time.

Goals has 45 pitches in the UK and said that UK sales had increased 11% this year, while in the US where it runs a number of sites in California sales were up 15%.

This year the company has made significant changes to its leadership and management.  These include the appointment of Martin Johnson as interim chief financial officer, taking over in early February. Johnson was previously CFO of Great Rail Journeys Ltd. Goals changed it auditor in July of last year, replacing KPMG with BDO.

Tom Reeve | 02-08-2019

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