London Living Wage at Football Clubs
Low pay is an increasingly critical issue in London, with average pay rates continuing to fall in the capital. Office for National Statistics data shows that in 2013, average weekly pay was £613 compared to £700 in real-terms (adjusted for RPI) in 2009. The most recent London Poverty Profile shows the number of jobs paying less than the London Living Wage has also increased sharply since 2007 in both absolute terms (from 420,000 to 600,000) and as a proportion of all jobs in the capital (from 13% to 17%).
Few industries highlight the income disparities that characterise modern London better than the highest levels of professional football. This was highlighted by the London Assembly’s January 2014 motion, which denounced the wage inequality between the highest and lowest earners at Premier League football clubs.
Since that motion was passed, this Assembly notes the positive decision by some Premier League clubs to pay their staff the London Living Wage. Nevertheless, two-thirds of Premier League clubs in London are currently failing to pay their employees enough to live on in the capital. Whilst star players can earn up to £180,000 per week, some contract staff employed by the same club earn the minimum wage of £6.50 per hour.
This Assembly therefore welcomes the Premier League’s recent announcement that its clubs will pay the London Living Wage to full-time staff from the start of the 2016-17 season. However, this commitment should be extended to include those employees who work part-time. These employees make up much of the workforce employed by football clubs and are typically amongst their lowest paid.
The Mayor has supported, and been actively involved in, stadium-led regeneration to create job opportunities and improve facilities for local people. With several Premier League clubs benefiting from the Mayor’s support in building new, or expanding existing, stadiums, it is essential that he urges clubs to pay the London Living Wage.
Furthermore, this Assembly calls upon the Mayor to use his influence during stadium-led development schemes to advance the case for the London Living Wage and to urge London’s other non-Living Wage employers to pay their workers a fair wage.