The ugly truth about unequal pay in the beautiful game


Despite the recent record breaking £5.14bn TV deal for English football many elite football clubs in London still to refuse to pay many of their employees the London Living Wage. The fact this kind of poverty pay still exists in a multi-billion pound industry is nothing short of a scandal.

Whilst the players are undoubtedly the stars, it’s the football club employees – from ground staff to suppliers – who undertake crucial work that fosters much of the match day atmosphere the English game is so famed for, and which makes it so lucrative and appealing to TV companies.

Many clubs pay weekly six-figure wages to their star players and spend hundreds of millions on the recruitment of talent. So, the fact that numerous clubs fail to pay some employees a living wage – worth £9.15 an hour – is as indefensible as it is unjust. Such comparisons really do bring home the stark inequality blighting the beautiful game.

Fortunately change appears within reach. Chelsea Football Club became the first club in the Premier League to sign up to pay the London Living Wage last year. This has thrown down the gauntlet to the capital’s other clubs. Over the weekend West Ham also announced they would pay the London Living Wage from June this year. By following their example London’s clubs have the opportunity to lead the way and put fairness back into football, resolving the ugly truth about unequal pay in the beautiful game.

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