Sports Direct International (LON: SPD) refers to the announcement issued by Goals Soccer Centres PLC (LON:GOAL) on the 19 June 2019. 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 Direct understands that these advisers are a division of the Company’s auditors.
Sports Direct’s request for the appointment of Kroll to do an independent and cradle to grave report was not a request for the Board to appoint Kroll, it was a request for the Board to allow the investigation to take place, with all of the costs incurred in connection with the Kroll report being borne by Sports Direct. Sports Direct would also propose to make the Kroll report available to all shareholders who would also have access to Kroll to ask them any questions.
In this regard, 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 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 Soccer Centres Board and the resulting loss of confidence Sports Direct International 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.