Football's richest clubs pay poverty wages to backroom staff
England's richest football clubs shell out fortunes to their players in pursuit of glory. Today, though, all 20 clubs are accused of penny-pinching because they pay more humble members of staff – such as cleaners, catering staff and shop assistants – the lowest legal wages. Some employees receive only match tickets as recompense, or the promise of commission.
The revenues of Premier League clubs last season reached almost £2bn and they spent £600m on players. But two days before the 2008/09 Premier League starts this weekend, the Fair Pay Network (FPN), a coalition of charities and trade unions, warns that poverty pay is endemic in the league. It found that all 20 clubs are offering positions at the national minimum wage of £5.25 an hour.
The five London clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United – are paying staff at least £2 below the London Living Wage of £7.45, which the Mayor Boris Johnson says is the minimum to avoid living in poverty in the city. The FPN found Blackburn Rovers was offering one match ticket per month and possible commission for a part-time post selling lottery tickets.
The campaign was backed last night by Gerry Sutcliffe, the Minister for Sport. He said: "There is a huge amount of money in football and it's only fair that everyone working for a Premier League club should reap the benefits."
Boris Johnson also lent his support. "Paying the Living Wage is not only morally right, but makes good business sense too," he said.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Latest in Sport
Robin van Persie: Manchester United may have more joy if striker is dropped by David Moyes
Why does Manuel Pellegrini keep picking Martin Demichelis?
Tim Sherwood receives backing from Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy following heavy Chelsea defeat
England 29 Wales 18 player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham?
Bayern Munich v Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pleads for 'fair chance' from referee in Champions League clash
- 1 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Sharknado 2: Former WWE wrestler Kurt Angle to fight second wave of flying sharks
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home