The country's biggest operator of a five-a-side football centres is to seek a listing on the Aim market.

Powerleague currently has 26 centres, including sites in Birmingham and Halesowen, which house a total of 283 pitches used by more than 70,000 players each week.

The company is in talks to acquire four centres from collapsed Scottish operator Vida, which when completed will take the total number of centres and pitches to 30 and 308 respectively.

The number of adults playing five-a-side football in England has grown from

4.4 million in 2002 to six million players in 2004.

This rapid growth in player numbers has meant that the game is now played by more adults than the 11-a-side game and has lead to its formal recognition by the English FA.

Powerleague was formed in December 1999 following the merger of two 3 i investment companies.

In August 2001, Claude Littner, former chief executive of Tottenham Hotspur, joined as executive chairman and he led a management buyout from 3i two years later. Powerleague's business has since grown substantially and in the year to 30 June 2004 it generated a pre-tax profit of £2.4 million on revenues of £15.3 million.

It was the first company in the industry to develop school sites, and the majority of its five-a-side centres are long- lease school sites or run in conjunction with local authorities. Each centre runs regular leagues and provides weekly fixtures for the teams, qualified referees, trophies for the winners and a system of promotion and relegation.

Powerleague has sponsorship arrangements with a number of blue chip companies, including Nike, Honda, Barclays and Carlsberg.

Principal sponsor Xbox has recently extended its contract on enhanced terms until August 2008.

They also have a 16 new sites in the pipeline and say there is scope for a further 100 es throughout the UK.

Directors are also looking at a possible move into mainland Europe.