Goals loses chief as Anson scores with British Olympic team | Business News


The listed 5-a-side football venue operator Goals Soccer Centres is losing its chief executive weeks after seeing its shares suspended over a £12m accounting blunder‎.

Sky News has learnt that Andy Anson, who has only been in the job for a year, is quitting to become the new chief executive of the British Olympic Association (BOA).

Sources said Mr Anson’s appointment‎ by the BOA, which is responsible for Team GB’s participation in the summer and winter Olympic Games, was likely to be announced on Monday.

He is already a non-executive director of the sporting body, having sat on its board since 2011.

Mr Anson will replace Bill Sweeney, who resigned in February to become chief executive of the Rugby Football Union.

He will arrive at the BOA in advance of the next major event in the Olympics cycle: the 2020 summer Games in Tokyo.

His pedigree for the top BOA job is ‎solid, having spent most of his career in the sporting and media industries.

The chief executive of England 2018, the entity which led the unsuccessful bid to stage the FIFA Worl‎d Cup, Mr Anson’s other past roles include having been Manchester United FC’s commercial director and chief executive of tennis’s ATP World Tour in Europe.

More recently, he ran the sports e-commerce and retail business Kitbag for six year‎s.

Mr Anson’s departure from ‎Goals will leave the company facing its second change of leadership in less than two years.

He was drafted in after the departure of Mark Jones, and arrived just 13 months ago.

In March, the company disclosed that its 2018 results would be “materially below expectations” as a result of “certain accounting errors”.

The issues meant that Goals, which trades from roughly 50 sites in the UK and US, was in breach of one its banking covenants, it said at the time.

Sources indicated ‎that Goals was unlikely to announce a permanent successor to Mr Anson alongside the news of his departure.

Mr Anson is expected to remain in his role at Goals for another six months before joining the BOA.

It is unclear when the company’s shares might resume trading.

Goals currently has a market value of just over £20m.

The company’s biggest shareholder is the retail tycoon Mike Ashley, who has been speculated as a likely buyer of the business through Sports Direct International.

Neither Goals nor the BOA could be reached for comment on Sunday.


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