Thursday 29 August 2019 11:39 am

On the block: Goals goes up for sale in wake of £12m fraud accusations

Embattled five-a-side football operator Goals has put itself up for sale this morning, following a torrid six months that has been clouded by accusations of tax fraud.

Goals Soccer Centres, which is part owned by retail magnate Mike Ashley, has said today that it is inviting offers for both the business and the assets belonging to the firm, which is set to delist on 30 September in the wake of major issues with its balance sheet.

Read more: City watchdog launches probe into Goals Soccer Centres

The troubled company’s hunt for a buyer, which is being conducted by big four accountancy firm Deloitte, has not been given a timetable or deadline.

“Shareholders will continue to be kept informed of developments as appropriate,” the group said this morning.

Today’s news comes after a turbulent period for Goals, which suspended trading in its shares on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) in March after discovering a potential £12m unpaid tax bill.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, which owns a near-19 per cent stake in Goals, has been tipped as a potential bidder, following his major recent shopping spree that included the acquisition of House of Fraser and Evans Cycles.

Read more: Ashley’s Sports Direct buys Jack Wills

Earlier this month Goals confirmed it was investigating its former chief executive and chief financial officer in connection to the accounting scandal.

Former chief executive Keith Rogers and former chief finance officer Bill Gow had been named in reports as subjects of investigations.