Powerleague set to axe 100-plus jobs under rescue deal

Five-a-side football pitch operator Powerleague is set to cut more than 100 jobs as part of a proposed rescue deal which will also see two of its Scottish sites close.

Powerleague operates 440 pitches across 50 sites in the UK and Ireland. Picture: John Devlin
Powerleague operates 440 pitches across 50 sites in the UK and Ireland. Picture: John Devlin

The firm, which last year failed to agree a possible merger with Scottish rival Goals Soccer Centres, is looking to push through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with its creditors.

The proposals will include the closure of 13 sites – including Hamilton and Kilmarnock – with the loss of 109 of its 580-strong workforce.

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It is understood that along with others in the sector, the company was hit hard from the Beast from the East at the beginning of the year which saw significant numbers of bookings cancelled.

Paisley-founded Powerleague, which has been owned by private equity group Patron Capital since being taken private in 2009 a deal worth £80 million, said that unless the business is restructured it does not have a viable future.

The company said it had proposed a CVA – used by a number of struggling businesses recently including Mothercare and Carpetright – as a last resort following three years of declining like-for-like revenues and failed attempts to raise sufficient funds.

It said without the approval of the CVA, it will not be able to secure the additional funds that the business needs and the company will most likely go into administration.

Powerleague said it has held constructive initial discussions with landlords about the rescue deal proposals. Subject to approval of the CVA, it is anticipated that the 13 sites scheduled for closure will remain open until at least the end of January 2019.

All creditors will be invited to a meeting likely to be held on 16 October to vote on whether the CVA should go ahead with a 75 per cent vote needed.

If agreed the business will then implement its long-term business plan with new capital investment being provided through Patron Capital and its partners.

The process will be led by chief executive Christian Rose, chief financial officer Mike Evans and the existing management team.

Rose and Evans joined Powerleague this month from bowling business All Star Lanes where they led a successful restructuring programme. Rose also worked on turnarounds for G&J Greenall and Chicago Rock Café.

Rose said: “Closing sites is a difficult decision to make and we are supporting those personally affected. These significant changes are essential to a sustainable future for Powerleague and I am committed to our long-term turnaround plan.”

Deloitte has been nominated to act as supervisor to the CVA.

Powerleague operates 440 pitches across 50 sites in the UK and Ireland.