A new BBC Sport report reveals whether Newcastle United and the other 19 PL clubs are paying real living wages to staff
A new report from BBC Sport has looked at the actual living wage and the 20 Premier League clubs.
The real living wage is an amount calculated independently based on what people need to live.
On Thursday it was announced (see below) by the Living Wage Foundation that rates have now increased, to help tackle the cost of living crisis. In London, the real living wage rate is now down from £11.05 and an hour to £11.95, while in the rest of the country the real living wage rate is down from £9.90 to £10.90 from per hour (the national minimum wage is currently £9.50 per hour for people aged 23 and over, with lower rates for younger age groups).
With the Premier League being the richest football setup in the world, surely we could all take it for granted that all 20 clubs are already paying the actual living wage…?
This new report from BBC Sport has revealed that eight of the twenty Premier League clubs were unable to confirm that all employees, including contract staff, were paid the actual living wage.
BBC Sport revealing that “Manchester United, Southampton and Arsenal are not currently paying this rate to all their caterers, cleaners and stewards”. An absolute disgrace, especially when it comes to Arsenal and Man Utd.
The other five who also could not guarantee they were paying all staff the actual living wage were Bournemouth, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Leeds and Nottingham Forest.
As for Newcastle United, all credit goes to the new owners, because when they took over the club 11 months ago, one of the things they did early on was implement a pay review. throughout the football club.
A Times report in May 2022 found that after Newcastle United owners ordered this independent pay review, many non-playing staff in April (2022) received their first pay rise in several years.
Indeed, The Times said their information was that under Mike Ashley, some of these non-playing employees had only received one pay rise in the past decade!
The newspaper said Newcastle United’s new owners “surveyed non-playing staff after the takeover and were shocked by the salary levels in place and the lack of regular salary reviews”. They then felt that a full review should be undertaken.
The report added that “since April a new salary structure has been in place which is now considered to be nationally competitive and staff have received increases to match market values for the jobs they perform in accordance with the other Premier League clubs. Naturally, club staff are said to be ‘very happy’ with the changes, according to a source.
Quite amazing how for nearly a decade and a half almost every media outlet, with one notable exception, was happy to overlook the disgrace with which Mike Ashley ran our football club. Complete disinterest from almost all journalists for the way Mike Ashley has treated the fans, some managers (Kevin Keegan the worst/best example), some players (Jonas Gutierrez in particular) and of course now we are also finding out about the people he employed in normal level jobs. Surely this revelation comes as no surprise to anyone, given the many reports of how he treats so many people in his retail empire.
It’s great to see that club staff are now being treated properly and paid a fair wage and in February 2022 the new owners of Newcastle United announced (see below) their commitment to real living wage, as part of of how they planned to treat staff now moving forward.
Announcement from the Living Wage Foundation – September 22, 2022:
‘Nearly 400,000 people working for more than 11,000 real living wage employers nationwide are set to benefit from a vital increase in cost of living compensation as new living wage rates increase to 10, £90 per hour in the UK (£1 increase), and £11.95 per hour in London (90p increase), supporting workers and families. This year’s living wage rates have been brought forward given the steep rise in the cost of living over the past year.
Real living wage rates remain the only wage rates calculated independently based on what people need to live on. This year the rate has risen by 10.1% in the UK, more than at any time in the Living Wage Foundation’s 11-year history, reflecting steep increases in the cost of living.
Official announcement of the new owners of Newcastle United – February 6, 2022:
“Newcastle United has applied to the Living Wage Foundation to become a Living Wage Employer.
Known as the ‘Real Living Wage’, the scheme independently calculates a minimum rate of pay based on the cost of living and accordingly sets a benchmark for employers who want to guarantee their staff a fair wage.
Following the club’s voluntary application, retroactive to February 1, 2022, all club employees will receive a minimum hourly rate of £9.90 per hour – a rate above the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.
Our commitment to our people
We recognize that our people, including staff – the majority of whom live in our local community – and our fans, are at the heart of everything we do.
We value the contribution of all employees and recognize that the daily operations of the club, including match days, could not take place without their hard work and dedication.
Newcastle United is fully committed to supporting them, including through salaries that reflect their value and meet the day-to-day needs of individuals and their families – not just the government minimum.
Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley said: “This is an important part of our people strategy as we work together to deliver our new vision.