Goals in North America venture with Man City owner

East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres said it agreed a strategic 50:50 joint venture with City Football Group, which owns a number of football clubs including Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City, “to accelerate the growth of the Goals brand in North America.”

In a trading update, Goals also said its preliminary discussions with rival firm Powerleague about a possible merger “have currently been concluded” — without adding any details.

Goals said that group sales rose 2% to £17.3 million in the first half of its current financial year.

Goals chairman Nick Basing said: “With the necessary overdue investment being made in our UK estate and a refocus on our consumer proposition, I am pleased to see some early signs of top line momentum.

“However, the UK consumer economic environment remains uncertain in the medium-term outlook.

I am delighted we have concluded our new partnership with City Football Group which will transform the prospects to expand our North American estate.”

Goals CEO Mark Jones said: “We continue to make progress re-investing in the business to offer our customers a premium product.

“We are a substantial way through the programme to upgrade the pitches and have now embarked on phase two of giving customers an enhanced clubhouse experience in which they wish to spend time.

“The company is totally focussed on delivering attractive returns for shareholders from its assets and the opportunities in the UK and USA.”