Former First Quench director John Cleland has landed a new job as chief executive of health and leisure club operator Esporta.

Cleland was previously chief operating officer of Somerfield and was key to the chain’s turnaround before the business was sold to the Co-op.

He was also commercial managing director of B&Q, also held a number of roles across the Wal-Mart group.

Cleland had been parachuted into First Quench as a non-executive director in September however the beleaguered off-licence group fell into administration at the end of October.

Cleland was thought to be mulling a management buyout of some of the business but funding was understood to be an issue.

Esporta said it had appointed Cleland after a rigorous selection process and said that his experience would be invaluable in steering the business through its next stage of development.