Monday 30 September 2019 8:00 am

Goals Soccer Centres warns HMRC black hole could be higher than £12m

Goals Soccer Centres has warned that a black hole in its accounts could be “materially higher” than the £12m it had previously disclosed as it officially de-listed from London’s Aim stock market.

The company suspended shares in March after saying its financial results had contained a misdeclaration of VAT, which have raised suspicions of tax fraud.

Read more: Mike Ashley kicks off £4m takeover of Goals Soccer Centres

But today it said that “due to the identification of improper behaviour on the part of a small number of individuals historically within the company” it cannot accurately state how much it owes HMRC.

“The actual liability may be materially higher than that previously announced dependent on the approach and working assumptions that could be adopted by HMRC in assessing the misdeclaration,” it added.   

A tribunal may be required to decide how much Goals owes in unpaid taxes, the business told investors today.

Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley has made a £3m offer for the troubled company, valuing its shares at just 5p per share. That is considerably less than the 27.2p closing price on Goals’ last day of trading.

Goals said today that Sports Direct’s offer would be unaffected by today’s revelation, but officially cancelled the listing of its shares on London’s junior market.

Billionaire Ashley had pushed Goals’ board to de-list last week.

Read more: Goals goes up for sale in wake of £12m fraud accusations

Last month the UK’s financial regulator launched a probe into Goals’ ex-CEO Keith Rogers and former finance boss Bill Gow.

Goals said at the time: “Actions undertaken by Mr Gow and Mr Rogers while employees and directors of the company form part of the current investigations of the Company into the mis-statement of historic financial statements.”

Main image: Getty