Former Premier League Winner Forced to Close Manchester Restaurant Amid Lease Renewal Struggles

Former Premier League Winner Forced to Close Manchester Restaurant Amid Lease Renewal Struggles

Former Premier League winner Danny Drinkwater has announced the closure of his restaurant, Firefly, in Manchester, following unsuccessful lease renewal negotiations with the landlord.

The 34-year-old, known for his stints at Leicester City, Chelsea, Aston Villa, and Burnley, took to Instagram to express his disappointment and gratitude to staff and patrons for their support over the years.

Culinary Ambitions and Setbacks

Drinkwater’s venture into the culinary industry mirrors that of several former footballers who have sought business opportunities post-retirement.

While some have found success, others, like Drinkwater, have faced challenges leading to business closures.

This setback marks the second time Drinkwater has had to close a restaurant, shedding light on the complexities of transitioning from the pitch to the culinary scene.

Financial Struggles and Closure

Reports indicate that Firefly had accumulated debts amounting to £1.1 million, prompting the closure of the establishment.

Drinkwater, who owns a 70% stake in the restaurant, acknowledged the difficulties faced in negotiating lease renewal terms and exploring alternative relocation options within the given timeframe.

Despite efforts to sustain the business, the financial burden proved insurmountable, leading to the unfortunate decision to cease operations.

Gratitude and Transition

In his statement, Drinkwater expressed gratitude to the dedicated staff and loyal customers who contributed to Firefly’s success and prominence in the Manchester nightlife scene.

He reassured stakeholders of ongoing efforts to support affected employees by collaborating with other operators to facilitate their transition to new opportunities.

Despite the closure, Drinkwater remains appreciative of the journey and the experiences gained throughout Firefly’s existence.

Past Ventures and Career Highlights

Drinkwater’s entrepreneurial journey has seen both triumphs and setbacks. Previously, he ventured into the restaurant business with FoodWell in 2018, only to face financial challenges leading to its closure in 2022.

Despite the setbacks in his business endeavors, Drinkwater’s football career boasts notable achievements, including his pivotal role in Leicester City’s historic Premier League title victory in 2016 and his contributions to Chelsea’s FA Cup triumph in 2018.

Industry Challenges and Collective Experience

Drinkwater’s experience underscores the challenges faced by former professional athletes navigating entrepreneurial ventures outside of football.

His story serves as a reminder of the risks inherent in business endeavors and the importance of resilience in overcoming setbacks.

As Drinkwater and other former pros continue to explore diverse career paths post-retirement, their collective experiences shed light on the multifaceted nature of life beyond the pitch.