A new report today showed that Premier League clubs turned a collective profit of £198 million for the year 2013-2014 – that’s before they had even started reaping the benefits of the latest £5 Billion television deal announced this year. So why are clubs still refusing to pay the Living Wage to all their staff – including subcontracted staff?
According to research by the Living Wage Foundation, supported by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, the minimum amount needed to cover the cost of living in the UK is currently £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 elsewhere. So how can the Premier League justify sellingits TV rights for £5.14 BILLION and allow club to pay less than the Living Wage to all employees?
FBB are part of the #LivingWageFootball coalition alongside Citizens UK and other small grassroots campaigns at the forefront of addressing this injustice. Joel Sharples, FBB’s Head of Campaigns, has been a front runner in the movement to push football clubs to provide a Living Wage for all of its employees. Joel’s recent social media campaign and petition supporting the principle of the Living Wage for all employees at Premier League clubs has been a huge success, amassing over 70,000 signatures and helping to pressure the Premier League into important concessions.
Early support for the campaign saw West Ham and Everton commit to paying all directly employed staff the Living Wage. The Football Supporters’ Federation threw their weight behind the campaign, announcing on February 20th that they are now an accredited Living Wage employer. On February 26th, Joel and four other members of the Citizens UK Living Wage Football coalition presented the petition toBill Bush, the director of policy at the Premier league.
Despite initially ruling out the likelihood of any action to ensure that all clubs paid the Living Wage at this meeting, the Premier league subsequently announced on March 26th that all full-time Premier league staff will be paid the Living Wage by the 2016/17 season!
This victory is only partial, as the majority of low-paid club staff are on part time or zero hours contracts and will therefore not be covered by the Premier League’s pledge. However, the fact that the Premier League is now willing to take a public stance on the issue is a hugely significant development and one which we have no doubt the petition played a major role in securing.
The #LivingWageFootball campaign will continue until it secures the Living Wage for all of those employed directly or indirectly by Premier League clubs. If you, or someone you know, works at a football club and wants to get involved in the campaign, please get in touch Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fight continues!
Check out Joel Sharples and Jasper Kain, the founder of FBB, discuss the Living Wage for All campaign on YouTube channel Copa 90: