Categorized | news

Goals on Sunday, Legal Action on Monday.

More football-related accountancy news this week, this time courtesy of Goals Soccer Centre, who were forced to delist from the AIM stock exchange earlier this year as a result of financial irregularities, and have just admitted that their business accounts mayhave been overstated by a whopping £40m, since 2009. 

While £40m is mere small change to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, to your regular Goals five a side player, it’s a huge number to just lose down the back of the sofa. The accounting black hole was initially uncovered back at the start of 2019, and was attributed to a ‘VAT misdeclaration’ and pegged to be at around £12m, sending shareholders spinning. But, if that wasn’t bad enough, forensic accounting has since clarified the situation and suggests that that figure is in the region of the £40m being stated now. 

Goals Soccer Centre has, as a result of the mis-accounting, recently entered into pre-pack administration, administered by Deloitte and has been quickly sold to private equity-backed Northwind 5s Ltd. That move has, thankfully, helped to secure the 750 jobs that were at risk as a result of the scandal and kept the 49 UK Goals Soccer Centre sites open for the time being, at least. 

It appears that the mis-accounting happened when KPMG were at the auditing helm, and the irregulates were uncovered when the company got into financial problems and BDO were brought in to take a much closer look at the books. 

Given the situation, HMRC may be able to continue their investigation beyond the usual four-year period to try and piece together what exactly went on and if any other breaches outside of the VAT misreporting took place. The Serious Fraud Office has also allegedly been informed. Some wrong payments of cheques to individuals in 2014 is also being mooted by those in the know. It doesn’t bode well for the future of the company or for any of the everyday investors who had pension or investment funds held in the stock.

So, we’ll definitely need to watch this space to see what comes next, but it looks very much as though KMPG have struck a definite own-goal, and a yellow card may just be heading their way. 

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