Goals Soccer Centres plc, a leading operator of outdoor small-sided soccer centres with 48 sites, including two in California, North America, is pleased to announce it has entered into a strategic 50:50 Joint Venture with City Football Group (“CFG”)1, the global football group which owns a number of leading football clubs including Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City, to accelerate the growth of the Goals brand in North America.

Nick Basing, Chairman of Goals and Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive of City Football Group

Highlights:

  • All of Goals’ North American operations, which include all existing and pipeline sites, have been transferred to the Joint Venture;
  • CFG is providing $16 million of initial committed expansion capital which combined with cash flow from the Joint Venture will self-finance an ambitious program of new site openings in North America;
  • CFG have granted a licence to the Joint Venture to use its brands2 to promote the Joint Venture business in North America.
  • The Joint Venture to be led by a six-member board, chaired by Goals’ Chairman Nick Basing.

The Joint Venture will combine Goals’ existing North American operational expertise and site sourcing capability with CFG’s footballing, marketing and commercial expertise. The substantial new funding will accelerate the growth of Goals’ existing North American presence and also allow the Company to focus UK cash flow on investment in the Arena and Clubhouse modernisation projects in the UK.

The Joint Venture will be permitted to use the brands which CFG owns, including Manchester City, to drive its North American marketing activity where appropriate. The Joint Venture will also be able to engage in targeted promotional initiatives across CFG’s fan networks.

The Joint Venture will be launched today at Goals Pomona in Los Angeles by Nick Basing (Chairman of Goals) and Ferran Soriano (CEO of CFG) who will be joined by a number of Manchester City players including new signing, Danilo, as well as Leroy Sane, Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi.

The profit before tax associated to the assets which are being transferred into the Joint Venture by Goals was £0.2m for the 2016 period, with the Company’s profit before tax expected to reduce by £0.2m in the current year as the Joint Venture’s earnings will be consolidated on a proportionate basis. As at 31 December 2016, the reported book value of those assets being transferred into the Joint Venture by Goals was £8.2m. It is expected that as new sites are opened those new sites will make an increasing contribution to the Company’s profits. Goals will not receive any additional proceeds from the transfer of its North American operations into the Joint Venture.

CFG is a holding company established in 2013 to oversee the creation and administration of a network of linked football clubs and other footballing operations. CFG is run as a holding company under parent company the Abu Dhabi United Group Investment & Development Limited together with Chinese part-owners China Media Capital and CITIC Capital. CFG currently owns a number of football clubs, including Manchester City in the English Premier League, New York City which plays in Major League Soccer and Melbourne City playing in the Hyundai A-League in Australia.

Nick Basing, Chairman of Goals said:

“I am delighted we have concluded our new partnership with City Football Group which will transform the prospects to expand our North American estate.

This is a transformational agreement for our Company to grow and strengthen the North American business. We are delighted to be partnered with a global leader in soccer and believe the combination will give us significant competitive advantage at a time when the emerging market is in its infancy.”

Ferran Soriano, CEO of CFG said:  

“This is a very exciting development for our plans in the US and Canada. Soccer is indisputably the world’s number one sport and growing fast in this region.  We have an ambitious vision in North America to grow the sport, including our JV with Goals, ownership of New York City FC in MLS and many other initiatives.

This initiative shows City Football Group’s continuing commitment to soccer in North America. This partnership with an excellent and recognized operator like Goals gives us the best opportunity to succeed”