Leisure veteran takes helm

Goals nets new chief executive from Rank

GoalsGoals Soccer Centres, the five-a-side football firm, has appointed a leisure industry veteran as chief executive.

Rank Group’s Mark Jones, 55, will join the East Kilbride based firm in July, replacing Keith Rogers who is now developing the 47-centre company’s business in America.

Mr Jones is an experienced leisure businesses executive and was managing director of Rank’s Grosvenor Casinos, the largest casino business by locations and revenue in the UK. He also sat on the executive committee.

He was managing director of Mecca Bingo, chairman and chief executive of Premium Bars and Restaurants, and also of Yates Group. He held various roles at Whitbread. 

Mr Jones is the latest appointment to the board which has been strengthened by the hiring of non-executive directors including Scott Lloyd, son of tennis player David Lloyd who founded the eponymous chain of leisure centres.

Mr Jones will be tasked with delivering a turnaround strategy at Goals. The company unveiled a loss before tax for year to the end of December of £6.2 million against a £6.8m profit last time.

Sales fell 4.9% from £34.4m to £33m, and by 6.3% on a like-for-like basis. Group Ebitda was down from £14.8m to £11.8m and underlying profit before tax from £10.6m to f £8.3m.

Goals chairman Nick Basing, said: “Mark has an exceptional and experienced track record of managing leisure brands and growing businesses.  Mark’s appointment further strengthens the calibre of the board, following the other appointments announced recently.”

Mr Jones said: “I am delighted to be joining Goals. Whilst the Company has experienced its recent issues, it remains an excellent business with significant potential both here in the UK and in the US. I look forward to working with the Goals team and driving the business forward.”


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