Chelsea become the first Premier League team to pay living wage

Staff in London will get at least £9.15 an hour from January 2015

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Chelsea have become the first club in the Premier League to agree to pay its staff the Living Wage.

The wage is set by the Living Wage Foundation, an hourly rate set independently, updated annually and calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

Currently, the UK Living Wage is £7.85 an hour while in London it is £9.15 an hour. The minimum wage is £6.50 an hour.

Chelsea's agreement to become an accredited Living Wage employer will come into effect from January next year and cover all directly employed members of staff at the west London club.

Those working in London will receive at least £9.15 while those based outside, like at its training base in Cobham, Surrey, will get at least £7.85 an hour.

In a statement from the Blues, the club said it had begun the process of ensuring that external contractors who work for the club would also eventually receive the Living Wage, as well as any other additional agency employees tied to the team. Chelsea said such a development would be complete by July 2017.

The club's chairman, Bruce Buck, said in the statement, "We believe the move to the Living Wage underlines our commitment to ensuring that all our employees receive a fair rate of pay for their hard work and dedication. Quite simply it is the right thing to do."

Chelsea's announcement was welcomed by the Living Wage Foundation as well as London Mayor Boris Johnson, who said Chelsea were "setting the right example," as the country's "great football teams are household names around the world" and "their every action is scrutinised in microscopic detail".

He said: "They realise their team is more than just the 11 men out on the pitch, and that by putting more pounds in the pockets of their staff they are signing up to a win-win scenario that rewards a hard day's work with a fair day's pay for everyone."

Scottish side Hearts became the first UK club to pay their staff the living wage in October.