MIKE Ashley’s Sports Direct has approached Goals Soccer Centres over a potential takeover bid.

The high street retailer revealed that it tabled a proposal to the Goals board over a possible cash offer of 5p per share for the company on September 5. It would value the firm at nearly £4 million.

Sports Direct International is the biggest shareholder in the East Kilbride-based firm, with an 18.93 per cent stake.

Goals has been up for sale since August 29, when it revealed it was inviting offers for the business and assets of the company. The sale process is being handled by Deloitte.

Shares in Goals, which operates 45 centres in the UK and four in the US, have been suspended since March, after it triggered an investigation into historical accounting errors and policies.

Goals said then that there had a been a “substantial misdeclaration of VAT going back over several years” which stood at around £12 million, though stated the final value had still to be established.

It said on August 2 that its investigations into the recognition of revenue and preparation of financial statements that “it has become very recently evident that there has been improper behaviour within the company.” Goals added: “This has involved a number of individuals for a period since at least 2010.”

Goals followed that with a statement to the market on August 12, which confirmed that actions undertaken by former directors Bill Gow and Keith Rogers would form part of the current investigations into the mis-statement of historic financial statements.

It reported no material developments in its ongoing dialogue with HMRC in establishing a final value of money owed in respect of VAT.