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SHG to sell footie holidays

THE Specialist Holidays Group is to sell football
coaching packages through the trade for the first time after snapping up sports
operator International Academy.

SHG is paying £2 million for International Academy,
known as TIA, compared to the £8.3 million paid for it by Leisure Ventures a
year ago. Of the £2 million, £1.8 million is payable over four years.

The operator’s turnover for the year to
April 30, was £3.5 million and its post-acquisition loss £2.4 million –
including £1.1 million debts written off under the deal – which Leisure
Ventures blamed on September 11, war and SARS.

Leisure Ventures now has no commercial or trading
operations but plans further acquisitions. TIA managing director and Leisure
Ventures director David Wright has resigned.

Chairman Harry Coe, former Airtours MD, said: “We’re
back to where we were 18 months ago. We would have stuck with it but we needed
the best part of £2 million to get the Civil Aviation Authority licence
renewed.”

TIA operates school ski holidays, ski instructor
training and sports coaching programmes.

SHG ski and lakes division MD Stuart McLeod outlined
plans to sell football coaching holidays through agents.

The packages offer training by coaches of leading
clubs such as David Beckham’s Real Madrid with stadium tours.

“A lot has been invested to ensure the relationships
are there – now it has to be taken to the client. The challenge is identifying
where it will work in the trade,” said McLeod.

Its 22 staff are retained and
chief executive Alun Williams reports to McLeod.

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