Goals Soccer Centres is one of the largest five-a-side football operators in the world. With 46 sites in the UK and three in the US, it as a pioneer of the small-sized football market, driving the growth of the format throughout the 2000s.
In recent years, however, Goals – and other commercial five-a-side operators – have faced increased competition from independently-managed synthetic grass pitches. As a result, Goals decided that it wouldn’t open any additional centres in the UK and instead focus on a strong investment programme to modernise its existing centres.
As part of its modernising strategy, Goals threw down a challenge to specialist contractor Blakedown Sports & Play. Goals needed a total of 80,000sq m of carpet re-placing, on 120 pitches, across 25 of its sites in the UK. Each pitch was to be re-laid with a combined shock-pad and new ProTurf 3G surface.
The timeline for the works was tight too – it was to be completed in five months, all while retaining income at each site.
Blakedown accepted the challenge and, together with Goals, implemented a programme which saw Goals employ three inspectors to travel between the sites, reporting back to HQ on the progress made on the works.
The progress reports were also published weekly on social media, in order to let customers know when the pitches would be ready to play again.
Blakedown completed the project on time and on budget – and ensure that Goals’ income wasn’t affected during the works.
Morris Payton, property director at Goals Soccer Centres, said: “We needed to deliver a fast and efficient upgrade to 25 of our sites, with the minimum down time.
“Blakedown exceeded expectations, impressed us with their ‘can do’’ approach and willingness to work with us to meet programmes and deadlines. They have delivered each and every site and we are on programme, on budget and have achieved what we set out to do.”