Listen up football clubs – pay the London Living Wage!

03 June 2015

The London Assembly today urged the Mayor to advance the case for the London Living Wage among Premier League football clubs in London. With several Premier League clubs benefitting from the Mayor’s support in building new or expanding existing stadiums, it is essential he encourages more clubs to pay the London Living Wage to full and part time staff. Murad Qureshi AM, who proposed the motion said: “Low pay is a critical issue for our capital and it’s one that requires urgent attention. Modern London is increasingly being characterised by wage inequality and professional football is a prime example of just how stark wage inequalities can be. It’s great to see more Premier League clubs paying the London Living Wage, but it’s also incredibly disheartening that two-thirds of London clubs have yet to follow suit. “With several Premier League Clubs benefitting from the Mayor’s support for stadium-led regeneration, it’s now time City Hall used some of its influence to urge clubs to pay the London Living Wage.” Gareth Bacon AM, who seconded the motion said: “Premier League clubs are set to benefit hugely from the recently announced £1bn TV rights deal, and it’s only fair that the proceeds are shared by all employees, not just the players. We need to do what we can to boost pay for the lowest earners. I’ll work closely with the Mayor and make sure he uses his influence to make that happen.” The full motion text reads: 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.[5] 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%). [6] 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[7]. 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. Notes to editors:

The motion was agreed unanimously at a meeting of the full Assembly today.

Murad Qureshi AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.

Watch the full webcast here.

The Regeneration Committee recently published a report on stadium led regeneration, The Regeneration Game in March 2015.

Figures for regional pay rates and Retail Price Index inflation taken from the Office for National Statistics

London Poverty Profile 2013, Trust for London & New Policy Institute, 2013, p.63

Owen Gibson, ‘Premier League living wage pledge must go further, says campaign leader’, Guardian, 26.03.15

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.