Manchester United smell a rat as Premier League faces hygiene checks
• Rodents found at Old Trafford
• Out of date turkey nearly served at Chelsea
Football conspiracy theorists have long been able to smell a rat in even the most minor of incidents on the pitch, but those at Old Trafford might have more grounds than most after health inspectors reported the presence of rodents at the stadium.
An inspection of Manchester United's stadium revealed "mouse activity" which the club were advised to monitor, alongside a broken tap and flaking pipework, according to a report by fcbusiness. In response to the report, available through a Freedom of Information request, Manchester United said they had a "robust pest control system".
Meanwhile Reading risked getting entangled in a mess after food inspectors found cobwebs and dead insects in a drinks area.
The inspectors uncovered a host dubious hygiene practises in a number of other Premier League grounds, with Swansea criticised for serving pink chicken, leaving open a packet of ham in a kitchen and letting pate go off.
Chelsea were warned about a serious contravention of hygiene laws when they nearly served out of date "cooked turkey saddles". Poor labelling of meat pies earned the Stamford Bridge club a further reprimand, though a later inspection noted that their hygiene standards had improved to become generally excellent.
Fulham were ticked off about bread rolls being left under a wash basin, a rusty pair of scissors and a hole in the wall that might give access to pests. Southampton and Stoke City were told to tidy up, and Aston Villa, Wigan, QPR and West Ham were all also guilty of minor infringements.
But for the league's cleanest clubs, look no further than Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle and Sunderland. All of the above – generally rivals on the pitch – were equals in the keeping things tidy department.
So... what's the worst thing you've ever encountered in a football stadium?