Chelsea FC makes living wage commitment

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Chelsea join Luton and Hearts as accredited living wage clubs

Chelsea FC have become the first club from the Premier League to sign up to the living wage.

The commitment means that all staff employed by the football club will receive at least £9.15 an hour if working in London and £7.85 an hour outside the capital.

League Two club Luton Town has also recently signed up to the code.

The voluntary wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation, is based on the amount needed to cover basic living.

The higher living wage levels compare to the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: "We believe the move to the living wage underlines our commitment to ensuring that all our employees receive a fair rate of pay for their hard work and dedication. Quite simply, it is the right thing to do."

Chelsea said it would ensure the living wage was also paid for staff working for external contractors, at its Cobham training ground and other club operations by July 2017.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said Chelsea were "setting the right example" with the move.

He added: "They realise their team is more than just the 11 men out on the pitch, and that by putting more pounds in the pockets of their staff they are signing up to a win-win scenario that rewards a hard day's work with a fair day's pay for everyone."

Image source, Empics
Image caption,
All Luton Town staff will now receive the living wage

In October, Scottish Championship side Hearts became the first club in the UK to pay their staff the living wage, while non-league outfit FC United of Manchester have also committed to the scheme.

Luton chief executive Gary Sweet said the club were fulfilling a "responsibility" to their staff.

"Not only do we feel that we have a responsibility to our staff, to make sure that their level of pay affords them the ability to have a decent work-life balance, but we also have a desire to attract more talented people when recruiting," he said.

According to a review of football finances this year by Deloitte, Premier League clubs paid a total of £1.78bn in wages during the 2012-13 season.

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