Goals set to name new boss amid ‘negative’ sales

Goals said sales were 'marginally negative' in the first 18 weeks of the year. Picture: Contributed
Goals said sales were 'marginally negative' in the first 18 weeks of the year. Picture: Contributed
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Five-a-side football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres today said its sales remained in negative territory as it prepares to unveil its new chief executive.

The East Kilbride-based firm kicked off the search for its new boss in January after Keith Rogers relocated to the US to become president of its fast-growing business on the other side of the Atlantic.

In a statement ahead of the company’s annual meeting, new chairman Nick Basing said: “We have concluded the search for a high quality CEO. Our expectation is that we will be able to announce details imminently.”

The update came as Paisley-based rival Powerleague said it was embarking on a major expansion drive that will see it open 13 centres over the next three years, backed by a £40 million investment from private equity owner Patron Capital.

Powerleague currently has 49 sites, the newest of which is in Sunbury-on-Thames, west of London. A spokeswoman said its growth plans would have a “heavy focus” on the south-east of England, although the firm is also looking for locations in Europe and further afield.

In 2012, Powerleague considered a possible takeover approach for Goals, but a formal offer was not forthcoming.

As Goals prepares to announce a new strategic plan of its own following a slide in annual profits, Basing said like-for-like sales for the first 18 weeks of its new financial year were “marginally negative”.

He added: “However, the significant decline in last year’s second half has been eroded. This first quarter of trading in 2016 compares against positive sales growth in the same period last year.”

Goals, which has 46 sites across the UK and one site in California, also announced the appointment of gyms industry veteran Scott Lloyd and North Atlantic Smaller Companies Investment Trust chief executive Christopher Mills as non-executive directors. They replace Phil Burks and Alex Short on the company’s board.