Goals cheers 50th football centre milestone

The site was opened by ex-Manchester City player Joleon Lescott (left). Picture: Klaudia Seidl
The site was opened by ex-Manchester City player Joleon Lescott (left). Picture: Klaudia Seidl
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Goals Soccer Centres, the East Kilbride-based five-a-side football operator, has hailed a milestone moment after opening its 50th site.

The latest venue, located in California, forms part of the Scottish group’s North ­American joint venture with Manchester City FC owner City Football Group.

The Covina centre is the fourth site to be opened by the joint venture in Los Angeles, adding to the 46 centres operated by Goals across the UK. The new site was officially opened by ex-Manchester City and England player ­Joleon Lescott.

Andy Anson, chief executive of Goals Soccer Centres, said: “Covina is a fantastic new site with top class facilities that will be enjoyed by local ­soccer players. This new site was commissioned to meet the growing demand for venues to play small-sided soccer in the US.

“Goals Covina is also a landmark development for Goals. Not only is it the fourth site we operate in the US, but it also represents a landmark as our 50th site within the group. This milestone is a really proud moment for our ­company.”

Don Dransfield, director of operations development at City Football Group, which also has academies, technical support and marketing companies among its assets, added: “The opening of the fourth Goals site in California is testament to the significant appetite for the world’s most loved, watched and played sport. It also shows our continued commitment to the growth of the business in the US. As with the other three Goals ­venues, we are looking forward to helping this site to become a hub for soccer within the ­Covina and broader community.”

Earlier this month it emerged that Goals Soccer Centres was set to part company with the director credited with accelerating its expansion in the US.

The firm said that non-executive director Nick Basing planned to step down “to focus on his other numerous business commitments”.

He will depart once a replacement has been found, or at the group’s annual shareholder meeting in May, whichever is sooner. A search is already under way for a successor.

It has also been agreed that Basing will step down from his chairman’s role at joint venture Goals City US on 31 December with Michael ­Bolingbroke, chairman of Goals, to assume the role.

Bolingbroke said: “Nick joined the Goals board in 2015 and has since then led the company through both the development of its recovery strategy and the formation of its joint venture with City Football Group, successfully accelerating the company’s expansion in the US. We all wish him well in his future endeavours.”

In September, Goals reported a pre-tax loss of £1.1 million, compared to a profit of £2.6m 12 months previously, on sales that fell to £16.2m from £17.4m.

The results followed a trading update in July when the firm, in which Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley owns a stake, said its performance was hit by the snow in the first quarter and further in the second by the rescheduling of amateur 11-a-side games to midweek time slots when ­players would normally play five-a-side.

It provided a brighter trading outlook for the rest of the year.