Keith Edelman named Goals Soccer Centres chairman

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Goals Soccer Centres, the five-a-side football pitch operator, has lined up former Arsenal chief executive Keith Edelman as its next chairman.

The East Kilbride-based company has been seeking a new chair since February, when Sir Rodney Walker announced he would be retiring after ten years in the role, and said it had chosen Edelman following a “rigorous and full process”.

Walker, who is to stay on as honorary president of the firm, said: “Keith is highly experienced in corporate and financial matters and has a broad range of very relevant expertise for Goals.

“I believe he will make an excellent chairman and we welcome him to the board and to the company and look forward to benefiting from his counsel.”

Edelman was chief executive of Arsenal from 2000 to 2009 and is a former chairman of whisky distiller Glenmorangie. He is also a non-executive director of designer label SuperGroup and chocolate chain Thorntons, but department store firm Beale said yesterday that he would be retiring as its chairman.

He takes up his new role with Goals on 19 July and said he was looking forward to using his experience in the retail and leisure industries at the business, which runs 43 five-a-side locations across the UK and one in the US.

Edelman added: “Operating in a market with fundamental growth drivers and with a leading market position, Goals has an exciting future ahead of it.”

Aim-quoted Goals saw a £73.1 million takeover bid from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan collapse last year when too few shareholders supported the deal, which had the backing of management.