GOALS Soccer Centres has warned its final bill for historic mis-declaration of VAT may be higher than originally envisaged, as it told investors to prepare for its stock market listing to be cancelled. Shares in Goals have been suspended since March, when it launched an investigation into misdeclared VAT and historic accounting policies.

The ongoing probe, which involves the examination of “improper behaviour”, has held up the publication of the company’s 2018 results.

Goals, which has around 700 staff, initially believed the potential misdeclaration of VAT to be around £12 million, excluding interest and penalties.

But it said yesterday the “actual liability may be materially higher”, depending on how HMRC assesses the misdeclaration.

In addition, because the company is not able to “quantify with any certainty” the misdeclaration of VAT on its financial position, or when it will be able to quantify and agree the misdeclaration, it was expecting its AIM listing to be cancelled yesterday.

Meanwhile Goals, whose investigation into historic reporting of financial statements is looking at actions undertaken by former directors Keith Rogers and Bill Gow, said efforts to sell the business and his assets would not be affected by the cancellation of its stock market listing.

It repeated that the approach it received from Sports Direct, its biggest shareholder, was “highly caveated”.