Community organising group Brent Citizens have announced a campaign to put pressure on the FA to provide a real Living Wage to their 2000+ team of workers at Wembley Stadium.
The branch of Citizens UK are pushing for the FA to pay their employees the real Living Wage - which is a voluntary rate which ensures that staff can support their cost of living. The UK Living Wage is £8.75 per hour, while the London Living Wage is £10.20 per hour. The group have claimed that a number of cleaners, bar staff or security guards at Wembley Stadium are earning just £7.50 per hour.
Given the vast riches in the game of football, it is perhaps understandable that the financial rewards for those involvement in the less glamorous side of the game are coming under question. The Brent Citizens interviewed a number of workers who are currently struggling to make ends meet, who explained how beneficial a wage rise would be to their standard of living.
For example, a worker during England's 1-1 draw with Italy on Tuesday night, who wishes to remain anonymous - said: "I work as a cleaner at Wembley Stadium with many other Brazilians. I work night shifts and usually work long hours cleaning the Stadium in the days before and after a match.
"We take pride in our work and think it is important for the national stadium but we don’t feel valued by the FA. £7.50 an hour is simply not enough to live on in London. I live with my wife and young son and £10.20 would mean we would have less stress about paying the bills and could start saving some money for my son’s future.”
Similarly, a member of the catering staff said: "I grew up in a dangerous part of Portugal but came to London five years ago for a better future with my mother and twin brother. She works two low-paid jobs so my brother and I do as much agency work as possible at Wembley and other stadiums working 2 or 3 nights a week while we study. We sell food to fans to help put food on our own table and pay our family’s rent.”
The pressure group are calling for the FA to use the Government's upcoming minimum wage rise to implement the real Living Wage to all of its staff, and all inviting the Minister for Sport and fans to support the call for FA chairman Greg Clarke to put forward a proposal to implement the real Living Wage across its workforce at the FA's next board meeting.