Goals Soccer Centres, the five-a-side football pitch operator reeling from a major accounting scandal, has put itself up for sale.

The company, which is under investigation for a £12 million VAT accounting fraud, has appointed Deloitte to find a buyer.

However, suitors will need strong stomachs, as Goals has already admitted it will not have full-year accounts signed off by the end of September, meaning it will de-list from the stock market.

Shares were suspended in March after bosses uncovered the fraud, which involved avoiding VAT payments to HM Revenue and Customs.

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is expected to be a front-runner in the process, having already bought up a 19% stake in the business.

Deloitte is now set to send out sales documents to interested parties, and is expected to use revenues data and booking information to show it remains a viable business.

Earlier this month, the company confirmed that its former chief executive and finance chief are under investigation over historic financial irregularities.

Keith Rogers and Bill Gow's behaviour while at Goals is part of an investigation and reports suggest the Financial Conduct Authority is also looking into the issue.

According to reports, forensic accountants at BDO allege that Mr Gow emailed Mr Rogers asking him to "work your usual magic" to create fake invoices.

Allegations were also made that Mr Gow deleted old emails to "purge" records and the pair were manipulating numbers to avoid VAT payments and breaching banking rules with its lender, Bank of Scotland.