Goals expects delisting after ‘improper’ accounting

Troubled East Kilbride-based Goals Soccer Centres plc said on Friday it expects its shares to be delisted from London’s AIM market next month after an investigation into its accounting uncovered “improper behaviour” going back almost a decade.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct holds a near 19% stake in Goals Soccer Centres.

Goals said it “no longer expect the ordinary shares in the company to resume trading.”

It said the listing of the company’s ordinary shares on AIM “is therefore expected to cease and cancellation will be effective from 30 September 2019.”

In a stock exchaneh statement, Goals said: “The company regrets to announce that, following ongoing detailed investigatory work into the historic accounting policies and practices used by the company in the recognition of revenue and the preparation of financial statements, it has become very recently evident that there has been improper behaviour within the company. 

“This has involved a number of individuals for a period since at least 2010.

“Due to these initial findings, there is material uncertainty in relation to the historic financial statements published by the company.

“Work on the company’s full-year 2018 audit has therefore been suspended until further clarification on the historic financial statements has been obtained. 

“A key criteria for the resumption of trading in the ordinary shares of the company is the completion and publication by 30 September 2019 of the full year 2018 audited financial statements.

“The directors do not now believe this timeframe for the audit is achievable and, coupled with the findings above, no longer expect the ordinary shares in the company to resume trading.

“The listing of the company’s ordinary shares on AIM is therefore expected to cease and cancellation will be effective from 30 September 2019.

“The company confirms that there have been no material developments in the ongoing dialogue with HMRC in establishing a timetable for resolving any misdeclaration of VAT and in establishing a final value of money owed.

“Discussions with the debt providers remain positive and they have confirmed to the company that the existing debt facilities will remain in place post the initial 31 July 2019 review date, albeit that one of its covenant thresholds has been exceeded.

“Year-to-date sales across the 45 sites in the UK on a gross like-for-like basis are up +11.5%. 

“The company’s US gross like-for-like sales are up +14.5%.

“The company will make further updates as appropriate and when more information is available.”

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