Premier League football clubs have no qualms about paying their players hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, but perhaps they should be spending more money on keeping their catering operations clean instead.
National newspaper reports this week claim that a number of teams in English football’s top-tier have been told to clean up their act after their kitchens received a visit from health inspectors.
Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests reveals that the standard of hygiene observed at some clubs is far inferior to what is being served up on the pitch.
Inspectors visiting Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium uncovered a broken tap and flaking pipework, as well as previous problems with rodents. The report instructed the club to “continue to monitor and react to the mouse activity”.
In response to the report, a Manchester United spokesperson insisted the club had a "robust pest control system" in place, adding that immediate action is taken if any incidents do occur.
At Stamford Bridge, meanwhile, Chelsea were slammed for almost serving out-of-date turkey, while concerns were raised about the selling of stockpot and several frozen steak and mushroom pies that were not labelled correctly. Inspectors warned that the club was in "serious contravention" of hygiene laws.
A follow-up inspection found that the necessary action had taken place, however, and the club was praised for its “generally excellent” approach to hygiene.
Elsewhere, dead insects, cobwebs a hole in a ceiling and leftover rubbish were evident at Reading, while Stoke City officials were told to clean a dirty vacuum packer and remove vacuum pouches that were stored in a dirty box.
In contrast, Arsenal’s kitchen earned top marks from the inspectors for its hygiene, as did reigning champions Manchester City’s.