Arsenal FC Deny Paying Less Than London Living Wage

Arsenal FC may well be riding high in the Premier League and topping their group in the Champions League but not all of their playing staff members are reaping the rewards of the club’s success. On the football side of things there have often been claims that the Arsenal wage bill is low in order to pay for the Emirates stadium, which to date has cost Arsenal £470million. The 60,338 seat stadium has been open since 2006 so a fair chunk of the mortgage must have been eaten into over the past 7 years.

Although some of the players have cause to complain about their Arsenal wages, especially those who have not secured a new deal since leaving the club’s academy ranks and joining the first team, it’s the backroom staff who, according to reports, are on less than a living wage. The club has denied paying its kitchen staff a lower amount than the standard London living wage, but reports have emerged that they have been urged by Islington Council to pay a higher wage to all their staff and contractors.

The club hires sun-contractors from Delaware North Companies, a US-based hospitality firm who are also involved with Wembley Stadium. The firm are offering lead kitchen porter roles at the Emirates at a starting salary of just £8.28 an hour inclusive of any holiday pay. Earlier in the month, the London living wage increased to £8.80 which puts the Arsenal job a touch under the minimum. The new wage amount was announced during Living Wage Week, which ran between 4th and 8th November.

A spokesperson for Arsenal FC said, “Our employee remuneration packages exceed the London living wage requirements. We would point out that the majority of our casual workers are remunerated above the London living wage level.”

Perhaps this sort of attention comes to whichever club is riding high in the league, so it’s good to see Arsenal addressing this rather than sweeping it under the carpet.

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