Slaughter and May advised Goals Soccer Centres plc on its North American joint venture with City Football Group

Slaughter and May advised Goals Soccer Centres plc (“Goals”), a leading operator of outdoor small-sided soccer centres with 48 sites, including two in California, North America, on its strategic 50:50 joint venture with City Football Group (“CFG”), the global football group which owns a number of leading football clubs including Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City, to accelerate the growth of the Goals brand in North America.

The joint venture will combine Goals' existing North American operational expertise and site sourcing capability with CFG's footballing, marketing and commercial expertise. The joint venture will be permitted to use the brands which CFG owns, including Manchester City, to drive its North American marketing activity where appropriate. The joint venture will also be able to engage in targeted promotional initiatives across CFG's fan networks.

All of Goals’ North American operations, including all existing and pipeline sites, have been transferred to the joint venture, with CFG providing $16 million of initial committed expansion capital which – combined with cash flow from the joint venture – will self-finance an ambitious program of new site openings in North America.

Goals’ internal team was led by Mark Jones, Chief Executive Officer, and Bill Gow, Chief Financial Officer.