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Features

United sets new benchmark for cleanliness at Old Trafford

Manchester United has stepped up its partnership with US water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services company Ecolab, with Old Trafford becoming the largest stadium in the world to receive the Ecolab Science Certified seal.

The designation, which also applies to the English Premier League football club’s Carrington training ground, comes after it entered into a partnership with Ecolab ahead of the start of the 2021-22 season.

The Ecolab Science Certified program is built on Ecolab’s long-standing experience in the healthcare industry, bringing the same expertise used in hospitals to the places where people eat, stay, shop and play.

In service of nearly two million fans and 3,000 employees and players entering Old Trafford every year, Ecolab’s cleaning solutions have been deployed across the club, from the stadium’s 75,000 seats and 140 hospitality boxes to kitchens, dressing rooms, training facilities and office spaces.

Ecolab has also designated an in-house expert, George Olden, to advise United and oversee implementation of new solutions and technology. As the Ecolab hygiene director, Olden has access to the company’s international and cross-sport expertise, gained through other Ecolab Science Certified sports and entertainment arenas including US venues Allianz Field, Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium and Xcel Energy Center.

Collette Roche, chief operating officer of Manchester United, said in a statement: “The Ecolab Science Certified seal is a visible reminder of a higher level of cleanliness delivered through effective cleaning practices that are regularly repeated and checked. It’s all part of our commitment to providing the best possible experience for everyone walking through our doors.”

Gary Hebblewhite, United’s head of group property services, told Forbes: “The partnership is about cleanliness, it is about sanitisation on the back of the pandemic. The scale of clean and sanitisation went up 100-fold and we want to really reassure fans we are in a good position and have made sure we have a safe environment.”

Hebblewhite said that through the partnership, United has cut its product range by around half, while also ensuring that it is using the best possible product for each situation. He added: “We have access to training and good advice.

“Normally we would try to go to market and find it ourselves, this is scientific-based advice. It has been tested and the fact that we have this certification gives a greater level of reassurance.”

United in April appointed Legends International and Populous to lead a team that will be tasked with creating a masterplan for the redevelopment of Old Trafford.

The club announced that work would begin “immediately” on developing options for the stadium and studying their feasibility, with the aim of significantly enhancing the fan experience at the 74,000-capacity venue.

Image: Ecolab