With four training days during the week leading up to match day on Saturday, Falkirk FC’s laundry needs are extremely demanding.
For 12 years, Falkirk FC outsourced the laundry of all garments worn by players, including kits, socks, bibs and waterproof jackets. The club’s kitman regularly had to haul the kit, often in busy traffic, to a laundrette and it was a lengthy and challenging task to make sure it was clean and ready for training and match days. Having little control over how items are laundered also meant that the club couldn’t decide for itself what detergent was used, or what temperature wash the kits should be laundered at.
Outsourcing laundry was also having a financial impact on the club. The squad and reserve team train and work out in the gym on the same day, and wear different clothing for each session. This meant up to 40 t-shirts, shorts and pairs of socks needed to be washed in one day, easily racking up a substantial laundry bill for the club in a short space of time.
Falkirk FC decided that it was time to take a whole new approach to its washing requirements and make the leap to on-premise laundry (OPL). The first challenge was finding a space for a laundry room. Using contractors, the club made a storage room into an area suitable for washing machines and tumble dryers. When managers began looking for appliances, they came across local white goods supplier Thain Commercial, and as commercial laundry experts who also happened to be big football fans, they were clearly the right fit for the job. The club’s managers were looking for machines that offer programmes that specialise in washing muddy clothes. With this in mind, they selected two Miele PWT6089 washing machines and two Miele PTT7189 tumble dryers. Thain Commercial installed the machines in the new laundry room in a matter of days.
With new machines installed, Falkirk FC’s kitman can now wash items as soon as the players are finished with them. As trips to the launderette are no longer required, the kitman can organise the laundry according to the club’s schedule of training, gym sessions and match days.
Now in greater control of the laundry process, the club’s kitman can ensure clothing that gets muddied easily, such as t-shirts and shorts, is put on a specialist sports setting that thoroughly washes the items. Detergent choice is also now down to the club, so all kits comes out of the machines smelling fresh and ready for players to wear. Investing in OPL has proved to be a successful long-term financial investment for Falkirk FC. Removing the need to outsource laundry, the club is no longer faced with high laundry bills every week for the dozens of items the team uses.
Willie O’Neil, kitman at Falkirk FC says: “While fans only see our players on match days, our players spend the week training to stay on top of their game. As a result, laundry is a daily task. Now that we have an OPL facility, I can wash garments there and then, making the process much less burdensome than when we were outsourcing the service.
“Introducing OPL meant turning a room from a storage facility into something that could accommodate washing machines and tumble dryers, so it was a big upheaval. But Thain Commercial made our transition to OPL seamless, and the team are on hand if any issues occur.”