Premier League star agrees pre-pack deal for restaurant

Premier League footballer Danny Drinkwater has kept control of his healthy eating restaurant business after a pre-pack deal with administrators.

Drinkwater and business partner Christian Coates bought the assets of Foodwell Manchester in a deal that saved 25 jobs.

Administrators Mike Dillon and Katy McAndrew from Leonard Curtis have not yet disclosed how much the company owed when it collapsed nor if any jobs were lost. The company is understood to have employed around 45 people last year.

Manchester United youth player Drinkwater won the Premier League with Leicester City in 2016 but has since become better known for not playing, making just 17 league appearances in the last three seasons for Chelsea and loan clubs Burnley and Aston Villa.

The 9,000 sq ft unit venue, which includes a deli and wellness studio, opened in February 2019 at the New Bailey development close to Spinningfields. It operated as FoodWell during the day and as cocktail bar and restaurant Firefly after 6pm.

Coates, who set up Soulmate Food, and Drinkwater based the restaurant on a Los Angeles-inspired model.

Its accounts, published in March for the period to June 2019, showed liabilities of £1.7m and cash reserves of just £8,435.

The deal with the administrators was completed by a vehicle, Firefly Holdings (Manchester). It had secured support from asset-based lender Asset Advantage last month, three weeks before administrators were appointed to Foodwell.