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Sports Direct insists on hiring own investigator to probe Goals Soccer Centres

Friday, 21st June 2019
Sports Direct has insisted that small football pitch operator Goals Soccer Centres should allow it to appoint an independent investigator to peruse its books.

The sportswear and equipment retailer, which is a substantial shareholder in Goals, also said that it had decided to vote against the election of the company's directors at its annual general meeting later this month.

Sports Direct had recently written to the board of Goals requesting the appointment of Kroll after Goals admitted to accounting irregularities.

Goals, however, last week rejected the request, claiming that it had already appointed third parties to conduct an independent probe.

'It is Sports Direct's understanding that the company has not appointed independent advisers to assist Goals in examining its historical treatment of VAT as well as its ongoing discussions with HMRC,' Sports Director said.

'Sports Direct understands that these advisers are a division of the company's auditors.

Sports Direct said it did not request that the Goals board appoint Kroll. Rather, Sports Director said it had asked for permission to appoint Kroll itself and would cover all associated costs.

'Sports Direct would note that one of the significant shareholders of Goals is also a member of the company's board and will therefore have access to information relating to the activities of the company that other shareholders currently do not have access to, including but not restricted to the Company's ongoing investigations,' it added.

'It is the company's position that they are 100% sure that the matters under investigation were carried out by one individual.'

'The board of Goals taking this position leads Sports Direct to believe it is essential that Kroll's appointment is made immediately.'

'Sports Direct now calls upon the board of the company to agree to Kroll's appointment.'

'A substantial amount of the information that will be required by Kroll will already be available, and this investigation should start without any further delays.'

'In light of the perceived lack of transparency by the Goals board and the resulting loss of confidence Sports Direct has in the board as a whole, Sports Direct will be voting against the reappointment of the whole of the company's board at its AGM on 28 June 2019.'

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