Founded in 1879, Fulham Football Club moved to Craven Cottage in 1896. The grandstand and turnstiles were built in 1905 off plans compiled by legendary and innovative stadium designer Archibald Leitch, and are still in use today.
The Johnny Haynes stand is part of the oldest remaining area of the stadium. It has the original wooden seating from when it opened in 1905. To this day, the seats in the Johnny Haynes stand and the turnstiles from 1905, are still spreading a feeling of history and uniqueness at this iconic venue.
What they needed
CleanEvent is proud to have provided continuous deep cleaning service at ‘London’s Original’ football club for over 13 years.
Craven Cottage requires special attention and care when it comes to cleaning, including the main structure, ornamental facade, spectator and player accommodation. CleanEvent’s deep cleaning service team based at Fulham are aware of the historical and aesthetic qualities of the northern side of the stadium and are specially trained and briefed on the correct cleaning processes and safe working methods required.
These procedures need to be followed whether for pre-event cleaning, post event cleaning, or general maintenance.
Fulham and CleanEvent
There are a range of cleaning challenges at Craven Cottage including dealing with bird mess (guano), flying insects and other pests, which are prevalent owing to the stadium’s riverside location. The Riverside Stand is currently undergoing redevelopment, which will add an accessible public space and will increase the stadium’s capacity from 25,700 to 30,000 spectators per match.
The last thirteen years have seen Fulham Competing in the Premier League up to the end of 2013/14 season, when the club was then relegated to the EFL Championship. This is a downturn in the club’s fortunes and associated revenues, meaning that the deep cleaning service had to be remodelled to comply with a constrained budget and an average 20% reduction in attendances.
2018 saw a revival in Fulham’s fortunes with a return to the top flight of English football. The coincided with the club’s decision to adopt the London Living Wage for our cleaning colleagues, which has resulted in a more stable and committed deep cleaning service team at Craven Cottage and Motspur Park Training Ground. The club received a hugely favourable ‘Visit Football’ audit in January 2019, and while things aren’t perhaps working well on the pitch for Fulham FC, behind the scenes, the cleaning team continues performing at a high level.
The Challenge: Cleaning the Johnny Haynes Stand
Uniquely in this modern era of stadia and venues, the Johnny Haynes stand is mainly constructed of wood, and features wooden tip-up seats, anchored in place with hinged iron supports. These original wooden Benne seats are exactly as specified by Leitch in 1905 and now number 3,571. They remain as robust (and arguably as uncomfortable) as ever.
The wooden stoppings of the stand are constructed above the main concourse and have numerous gaps, requiring the extensive use of traditional cleaning methods and large volumes.
What we delivered
Deep cleaning of the entire stadium is carried out in the close season, and typically commences in late May, concluding late July. Many areas are cleaned using controlled high-pressure washing systems; however this option is not possible on the side of the stadium near Stevenage Road, where the Jonny Hayes Stand and the famous Craven Cottage itself are situated.
Our deep cleaning service team is equipped with hand brushes, low-water-level flat mopping spray units, low-volume sprays and a large supply of clean microfibre cloths during the deep clean phase.
For post event cleaning, localised damp wiping and spot mopping techniques are used immediately after the final whistle so that staining and heavy cleaning processes are avoided.
The Fulham faithful that sit in the Johnny Haynes stand consists largely of season ticketholders who have been coming to sit in the same seats for generations. There is an understanding of the historical significance—and leakiness—of the stand, and it is the case that there are fewer spillages and debris in this part of the grounds.