Accounts scandal deepens

City watchdog FCA to investigate Goals Soccer Centres allegations

Keith Rogers

Keith Rogers: former CEO

City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has launched an investigation into allegations of fraud at five-a-side football group Goals Soccer Centres.

The move, according to The Sunday Times, follows a report claiming that directors deleted emails to avoid detection.

The company, whose key shareholders include Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley admitted recently it had uncovered “improper behaviour” stretching back almost a decade.

FCA investigators will follow up claims by forensic accountants at BDO that implicates former finance chief Bill Gow in the scandal. Former chief executive Keith Rogers received an internal request to “work your usual magic” with the accounts, it claims.

The two men, who co-founded Goals in 2000, are said to have “corroborated” to create “fictitious documents” that included invoices, according to the FT.

BDO took over as auditor from KPMG in June 2018. KPMG has since been accused of negligence by Goals’ board, and told to prepare for a legal challenge.

According to the report, adjustments were made to the financial results with the intention of preventing Goals breaching key banking covenants with lender Bank of Scotland.

Goals, which operates 45 five-a-side pitches, intends to cancel its membership of the Alternative Investment Market over the escalating accounting scandal.

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