MANCHESTER UNITED legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are teaming up with Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim to introduce a slew of football-themed cafés and hotels in the island nation.
Lim is the owner of Spain’s Valencia football club, and is looking to launch the first café-football outlet in Asia in 2017, a spokesperson for him said.
Neville, who was Manchester United’s club captain for five years told Straits Times, “We’ve had fantastic reviews in Manchester, and we are looking for a UK, Europe and Asian expansion over the next 12 to 18 months to add multiple properties.”
He added, “We have an aggressive roll-out plan for Hotel Football, looking to over 5,000 new rooms over the next five to 10 years. We already have discussions in India, China, Thailand, and Malaysia, as well as other parts of the UK.”
GIGGSY AND @GNev2 OPENING A FOOTBALL CAFE IN SINGAPORE, LOVE YOU SO MUCH LADS DEFO CHECKING IT OUT.
— ㅤㅤㅤ (@suffyzn) October 26, 2016
Cafe Football to open in Singapore next year, say Manchester United legends Neville and Giggs https://t.co/oSO1nFBHxM
— Stewart Davies (@stewartdavies33) October 26, 2016
This will mark the first time that the football-themed hospitality franchise will expand outside of the UK. Channel News Asia reported that the first Cafe Football opened in London in 2013, followed by a second outlet near Manchester United’s home ground of Old Trafford in 2015.
The existing Café Football outlets were designed to “capture the essence of football” in the café aesthetic and menus, and attempts to create a “fun, relaxed dining experience influenced by the spirit of the game”.
For instance, the cafes’ menus are divided into “defence”, “midfield”, and attack”, with dishes named after common football phrases such as “The Special One”, “Mexican Wave” and “El Clasico”.
This is not the first time Singapore has dipped its feet into the world of themed cafés. A Pokemon café, a Hello Kitty diner, and a prison-themed pop-up restaurant inspired by hit Netflix show Orange is the New Black have also piqued the interest of locals.