| Five-a-side firms Goals and Powerleague are exploring a possible merger that would create the market leader in the football venues sector. |
Goals Soccer Centres said in a stock market announcement, that a merger was among “strategic opportunities” currently being assessed by its board.
The firm added that it had “made no decision on any course of action”.
Goals, based in East Kilbride, and Powerleague, based in Paisley, between them operate about 100 sites, most of which are located in the UK.
Last June, Goals launched a new strategic plan following its first annual loss in 12 years. The five-year plan includes a refurbishment programme, which has seen upgraded ProTurf pitches, new LED lighting systems and renewed stadia boards at pitches across its estate.
Powerleague was listed on AIM until 2009 when it was taken private by private equity group Patron Capital for £42million. Powerleague trades from more than 750 football pitches, and also owns Powerplay, a league operator across 240 UK venues. In addition to football, it has a multi-sport offering including basketball, dodgeball and netball.
A combined business would create a five-a-side football giant with 100 centres across the country.
These include 46 centres from Goals and 47 from Powerleague, plus Powerleague’s PowerPlay budget operations.
Both operators have benefitted from the increase in 5 and 6 aside football in recent years. In particular there has been a surge of popularity in walking football for the over 50s (men and women), the FA organised People’s Cup used several Goals Soccer Centres for this year’s tournament qualifying rounds.