Fair play on the pitch must be matched by fair pay off it

By Citizens UK

Arsenal do not pay the London Living Wage

At the heart of Arsenal FC’s philosophy lies the club’s historic Latin motto: ‘victoria concordia crescit’, or ‘victory grows through teamwork’. But how far down through the club does that idea really run? The players need to work in harmony on the pitch, but what about the people off the pitch who work hard to make the club what it is?

Matchday staff - Cheap labour?

In the last six months, Arsenal fans, with support from Citizens UK, have been campaigning to make sure the club lives up to its values and extends its collective spirit not just to players and directors but to all the cleaners, catering staff, stewards and security guards who help make every match day at the Emirates so special.

In 2001, the ‘Living Wage’ campaign was launched by Citizens UK, an alliance of community groups working together to tackle social injustice. The campaign was started by parents in the east end of London who found that despite working two or more minimum wage jobs they were struggling to make ends meet and had no time left for family or community life. The Living Wage is the amount of money that someone needs to earn in order to get by. It is calculated each year according to the basic cost of living. Nationally there are already more than 600 accredited Living Wage Employers who pay all their staff at least the Living Wage.

The Premier League has the highest revenue of any football league in the world, with club revenues collectively totalling over £2 billion and the average Premier League footballer earning more than £1 million each year. Even off the pitch, salaries are disproportionately high. The average turnover of a Premier League football club is around £249 million. The average Chief Executive’s salary at a similar-sized company outside of football is £150,000, but in the world of football it is £215,000 – an inflation of more than 30 per cent.

However, those at the other end of the pay scale, who keep the stadium secure, run the turnstiles, provide the catering and clean up after the game, are paid little more than the basic minimum.

Hafiz Kyril is a 19 year-old A Level student studying at St Charles RC College in west London and working both weekend and weekday shifts at the Emirates. Since moving to London from Malaysia at the age of 13, Hafiz has dreamed of becoming a businessman and furthering himself and his family. He works several catering shifts for the Arsenal to help his family and to save enough money to fulfil his ambition of studying business at university.

Hafiz says, “The job itself is very interesting and has equipped me with skills that I will be able to use later in life. But the hours are uncertain and the wages are low. This is beginning to take its toll. At the moment, I am trying to balance studying and working antisocial and irregular hours. I usually get to sleep about 2.00am because the travelling is long and I am committed to completing my studies. The Living Wage campaign is important because everyone who works should be able to earn a decent living. If we were paid a Living Wage, we wouldn’t need two or three jobs and we could afford to use the tube rather than the bus for long journeys. These little things are really important because it means we could spend a bit more time with the people we love.”

Arsenal is the fourth most profitable football club in the world. Its committed fans pay some of the highest ticket prices in the country. Yet its cleaners, catering staff, security guards and others remain trapped at or around the minimum wage, which may just about be enough to survive on, but is certainly not enough to really live on in London today. At the moment, workers like Hafiz are paid around £6.50 per hour, just above the minimum wage of £6.31. At this rate, it would take Hafiz over a decade working full-time without a holiday to earn what Mesut Ozil earns in just one week. The Living Wage in London is set at £8.55 an hour. This small increase can make all the difference and can help lift families out of working poverty.

Chris Harrington, a member of Citizens UK, and a committed Arsenal supporter for over 60 years, attended the Arsenal FC Annual General Meeting and asked Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis to raise the pay for all contracted workers at the Emirates to the London Living Wage. Gazidis, whose remuneration package exceeded £2 million for the 2011/12 season, replied, “The London Living Wage is well intentioned but the issue is complex and political and, in any case, the Arsenal benefits packages are generous in market terms.” But many fans don’t think this is acceptable. Chris Harrington says, “Arsenal must be made to realise that the Living Wage is right, just and economically sound and it’s a public policy that is here to stay. We in Citizens UK will not give up and go away.”

Fans around the country are beginning conversations with their clubs about the Living Wage but no team has been crowned the first Living Wage football club... yet. In the words of the club’s original English motto, if you want Arsenal to take the ‘forward’ step of making work pay, then please tweet @Arsenal and @LivingWageUK to express your support for Arsenal to become the first Living Wage football club in the UK. If you would like more information or a chance to get involved in the campaign, please email sophie.stephens@citizensuk.org.uk

3rd April 2014 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Bard  12:06pm 3rd Apr 2014

Surprise surprise' Arsenal screwing workers over?. I can't believe it. I thought it was only the fans they were screwing. Great post - Post No. 51794

Gooner1711  12:20pm 3rd Apr 2014

Shocking. But so, so expected by this regime. Maybe if they didn't all turn up one matchday they'd think again! Why can't his protest make the newspapers? - Post No. 51795

WENGER OUT  12:28pm 3rd Apr 2014

“The London Living Wage is well intentioned but the issue is complex and political and, in any case, the Arsenal benefits packages are generous in market terms.” Would expect no less from that slimy c--t Gazidis. £2m a year for what? I would happily sign up to help this happen. I could stomach a 3% increase in ticket prices if I knew that Arsenal were committing to this. - Post No. 51796

GoonerGoal!  12:42pm 3rd Apr 2014

20 years ago Arsenal were paying me and others £20 to act as a steward Saturdays/mid-week and £40 for a Sunday match, plus in my case I got to watch the match from some of the best vantage points in the North Bank and Executive boxes at the old stadium, so it was really worth £50 to £70 a match to me. How much are stewards who can watch the match getting these days? - Post No. 51797

Andrew Marston  12:45pm 3rd Apr 2014

'The average turnover of a Premier League football club is around £249 million.' IS NOT TRUE - Post No. 51798

Matthew Bazell  12:50pm 3rd Apr 2014

Good article. Our leaders tell us that the wealth of a few will trickle down to the bottom. That was proven wrong in the 1980s but they still claim it. I hope this wakes our fans up to the fact that the owners of our club are not moral and that we have no right to claim any high ground. Pay the workers a fair wage you greedy bastards. Gazidis - 2 mill a year!!! - Post No. 51800

Amos  12:52pm 3rd Apr 2014

Cleaning and Catering are among the tasks sub-contracted by the club to other companies so Arsenal wouldn't be directly responsible for pay levels in those areas any way. - Post No. 51801

Edmund  12:57pm 3rd Apr 2014

AW and co. Lookout for disgruted staff. Maybe one is responsible for your 12:45 pm blues. A big club that gives to charities should take care of its own workers first. - Post No. 51802

Rags  13:11pm 3rd Apr 2014

Good post. I am a diehard Arsenal fan and I 100% agree with the sentiment. I take pride in Arsenal for several reasons and one of them is for being fair to everyone and taking care of the common man. I hope my club will show the generosity that I expect from it and make working for Arsenal attractive for everyone. - Post No. 51803

GoonGoonerGone  13:19pm 3rd Apr 2014

Pity Wenger doesn't have a socialist wage policy for the workers. And the Con man speaks of other clubs and financial doping. Wonder what dope Wenger and Gazidis are smoking. - Post No. 51804

maguiresbridge gooner  13:38pm 3rd Apr 2014

You'd think when the tea lady, laundry lady, and the cleaners are to blame for the substitutions, tactics, defeats, decisions, and humiliations they'd be paid more. - Post No. 51805

Jack  13:45pm 3rd Apr 2014

Shame you have to resort to such pathetic and childish language to make your point Johnny Lynch.."Gazidis and Wenger are a pair of horrible c*nts"..."the worst day in Arsenal's history when Wenger arrived , the C*nt is a curse"....this type of obtuse, imbecilic remark you espouse just shows you to be an embarrassment not just to the club but to football fans in general. Perhaps trying using a little less profanity in the future, maybe people will listen to your points....the irony of you calling two people "horrible c**ts" is clearly lost on you, which is no real surprise - Post No. 51806

Ron  13:54pm 3rd Apr 2014

Interesting though not at all surprising, but Arsenal are just like any other corporate monolith, ripping off those from who it makes its profits inc the fans.I wonder if they ll change once their out of the top 4! This weeks prediction lads and you know you can always rely on them dont you fellas - Everton 2 Arsenal 1 - Post No. 51807

Ron  14:09pm 3rd Apr 2014

The hourly rate their paying there, if its paid to the caterers is more than the true worth of one of those lousy meals they dish up in those Club level caf's. As for the 'beers' (description used loosely),teas and coffees (similarly described) you need to be a carefree masochist to drink them, yet there they are each match day, queuing up and filling the tables to eat and drink the garbage stuff. Its ever likely Arsenal treat their punters as mugs, because to be honest, thats what they are! - Post No. 51808

Chris Hannington (vintage gooner)  14:22pm 3rd Apr 2014

With regard to Amos comment on sub-contractors. Arsenal declare in their accounts that they have 817 temporary staff employed on match days and they can commit immediately to payling these the London Living Wage. Further on extension or renewal of all such contracts it is a very simple matter for Arsenal to insert a clause requiring the sub-contractor to pay the London Living Wage as a minimum. - Post No. 51809

Really  14:25pm 3rd Apr 2014

It's a sick joke when you consider what Bendtner is earning a week for rubbing his Danish noodle on taxis in Copenhagen. That's severely messed up and no matter who the catering is sub contracted to... Arsenal sign the contracts and can dance well afford to At Least pay the living wage. Shameful to be honest. - Post No. 51810

Stroud Green Road Boy  14:37pm 3rd Apr 2014

Thanks to Citizens UK for this article (also Chris Harrington's clarification on subcontractors) and well done Online Gooner for publishing this. This information and Gazidis' weasly words attempting to justify the status quo are sadly unsurprising and all of a piece with what Arsenal PLC are all about. Doesn't really accord with the Arsenal FC tradition of doing things 'the right way' does it? - Post No. 51811

Ron  14:44pm 3rd Apr 2014

Really - Why single out Bendtner as your point rightly applies to anybody on their playing staff. The wages those players earn is an affront to common decency in my view.Yes, i know, the market sets the rates etc etc but the market is wrong when it comes to footballers in my view. How many really 'entertain' and how many truly give it 100%? How many can be identified as worth the entrance charge? Very few (if any) in that PL in my experience. - Post No. 51812

Amos  15:03pm 3rd Apr 2014

The contractors that Arsenal use for cleaning and catering have contracts with a number of other businesses including other football clubs and stadiums. It would seem to me that it would be far better for Citizens UK to focus their attention directly on Clean Event Group and Delaware North who are responsible for employing and paying cleaning and catering staff. In the case of Delaware I think the catering contract at the Emirates was for 20 years running to at least 2026 so presumably inserting a new clause now isn't so practical. There's much to applaud in Citizens UK campaign but I would hope that they are pursuing Chelsea, Fulham, Liverpool, Spurs, Wembley and others with equal vigour and not solely targeting Arsenal. - Post No. 51814

Matthew Bazell  15:15pm 3rd Apr 2014

Amos, we're Arsenal fans. We don;t care about the rest of the clubs or what they do. Our role is to demand standards from who we support. Citizen UK are targeting all clubs, but only a couple have ticked any boxes of fair pay. The whole thing is a microcosm of a wider issue in the world, but nothing changes until speak out. As Arsenal fans, that's our duty. - Post No. 51815

Amos  15:30pm 3rd Apr 2014

I'm not arguing against us promoting the living wage level but it seems to me that those responsible for employing and paying them should be those primarily being held to account. Even better why shouldn't Arsenal FC campaign for the election of a political party willing to increase the minimum wage to the level of the living wage so it becomes a legal obligation rather than a voluntary one? - Post No. 51816

Keiron Sparrowhawk  15:38pm 3rd Apr 2014

I'm not an Arsenal supporter, but I do live just 15 minutes from the ground. When I travel for work all over the world and people ask me where I live, I say near the Arsenal Football club, and nearly everyone knows because Arsenal are such a huge club. And although not a supporter, I am proud of the club because of that. That's why I would like Arsenal to take the lead and become the first major club in England to pay ALL its staff (directly employed AND contractors) the Living Wage. It would add so much to peoples' lives and cost so little in real terms to Arsenal. In fact, the benefits in staff retention alone would probably save Arsenal money. It cannot be easy managing such a huge concern as Arsenal and the owners have some of my sympathy for that. But they do own a GREAT club, with a fantastic history and GREAT fans and for that reason I ask them to please pay the living wage and keep Arsenal the great club it is. Thank you for the post. - Post No. 51817

Stroud Green Road Boy  15:41pm 3rd Apr 2014

Amos, who is suggesting Arsenal be 'primarily held to account' for the lack of a London living wage? The reason Arsenal are the focus of this article is because it is an Arsenal website. You're trying to deflect attention from Arsenal PLC's role and responsibility for the situation of workers at the club. Why sign a 20 year contract with companies who don't pay their workers a decent wage? Why resist attempts at change now? Why can't Gazidis say 'we'll be seeking to make changes with our subcontractors at the earliest possible opportunity' and put pressure on them in that way? - Post No. 51818

Matthew Bazell  15:43pm 3rd Apr 2014

I don;t see why they have to outsource the jobs anyway. The money they pay the company could be used to pay the workers better. I was once employed on minimum wage by an agency who were getting £12 an hour from Islington for the work I did. Stop making excuses for the scum who run our club. They don;t care about you. They are not Arsenal. They are businessmen. We are Arsenal. Don;t get touchy when these scumbags get the finger pointed at them. Our owner is a lowlife piece of filth whose walmart workers are on food stamps. - Post No. 51819

Ron  15:53pm 3rd Apr 2014

Ha ha Matthew, you ll be accused of being Johnny L if you keep that up mate!! (sorry Johnny - cdt resist). There are so many people who are so precious about criticisms of the Club these days and even more precious about criticisms of AW. Why? Ive no idea when you think football today is one corrupt and rotten business with little to no redeeming features from which to distinguish it from any other business. It has to be said as well that those clubs, the so called est top 4 plus Liverpool are doubtless the rottenest of the lot, corporate rip off edifices, the whole lot of them. Football is just an aside to those Clubs now and this type of article showing the slimy toads up should be welcomed.They cdt care a monkeys f--k about us supporters and its sad truth that there are many of us fans who dont really care much for them these days. - Post No. 51820

Matthew Bazell  16:00pm 3rd Apr 2014

Ron well said. One thing though, my description of Stan K as a scumbag is as uncontroversial as calling the earth round. It's not a guess, the guy is a corporate lowlife. Not one fact to the opposite. - Post No. 51821

Amos  16:03pm 3rd Apr 2014

@SGRB. It's clearly not me suggesting that Arsenal 'primarily be held to account' as I explicitly pointed out that those employing cleaning and catering staff should primarily be held to account. That seems to me the only practical way of getting what is wanted. Arsenal acting on their own wouldn't achieve much as the contractor would just switch the most productive workers (those earning the most)to the Arsenal contract and reduce the numbers employed. It's not about making excuses for any one but if you want to achieve something you need to go about it with a bit of thought. Standing by wailing about how unfair it all is won't really get you where you want to be. How about a campaign to refuse to use the catering facilities at the Emirates until they come into line? - Post No. 51822

UTU  16:29pm 3rd Apr 2014

Arsenal charge the highest ticket prices in world football but won't pay their employees a living wage except for the management and players. Good luck with your campaign Citizen Uk, Stan Kroneke who is the majority shareholder at Arsenal also owns Walmart and Asda, their employees receive Food Stamps in the US and Tax Credits in the UK because they are so poorly paid. The Greed of the Modern Arsenal Plc does not surprize me at all. I stopped handing over my money to Kroneke and Co years ago. Arsenal fans stop giving your hard earned money to this greedy money obsessed football club, they earn enough revenue from Television deals, merchandise and corporate sponsors already. Boycott the club until they pay their staff a living wage and lower tickets prices ! - Post No. 51823

BADARSE  16:50pm 3rd Apr 2014

Are any of you genuinely surprised by this 'revelation'? If so then I am sorry gentlemen and ladies. Sorry, because you clearly do not understand the way of the capitalist world, more specifically our little world in the UK, and the even tinier world of AFC. Firstly, as I have oft stated AFC are a business. Of course they are a football club too, to us that is predominant. However we are playing an imaginary board game, and these characters play by the rules in place. Business rules. Do I hear the same sense of injustice emanating from people in their everyday existence? If I do it's in a very quiet and muffled voice. Look around you, there are ugly injustices everywhere. I didn't put this shower of a government in power. These are the puppet masters, why attack the wooden doll marionette? I wouldn't support a multinational, especially rogues and villains like McDonald's, Starbucks and Coca Cola; can you say the same? They are all part of the steamroller which is crushing the 'life' out of ordinary folk. I personally find the term, 'living wage' an abomination, and the need for a minimum wage is an insult to our society and it's supposed values. It should exist automatically. It would be a very welcome gesture if AFC were able to effect a positive change, though it would be a complicated affair, perhaps too difficult. If they did, it would be a token gesture to just appease the protests, not because the club believed it to be the right and ethical way to behave. Good old Arsenal? Always. Just ahead of that by a few light years is, 'Power to the People'. - Post No. 51824

jjetplane  17:01pm 3rd Apr 2014

JL RON & MB great comments about a great stinking money making machine that is run like a slave state from antiquity. I have personal experience of scraping by on ****-all and that Arsenalworld are no better than wal mart comes as no suprise. And like the wal mart family you have individuals at 'Arsenal' raking it in and building themselves corrupting fortunes while those who live literally in the shadows of Emiratz can not even go to ground. Stay away and let it implode, and from the ashes we will build a club fit for ....... J Lynch. AMOS what else is in that horrible cupboard? RON watching Everton I reckon your on this one and they will do it in the last twenty minutes. It's the Merseyside factor and it looks like London can do little else but gatecrash. Maureen Muppets - how much are we enjoying that? - Post No. 51825

Ron  17:13pm 3rd Apr 2014

UTU - Well said there. Doing the odd away game as i do makes paying a little more palatable as its the away Club who gets it. We re on this subject so its ironic that im off to Goodison Park on Sunday, a Club which hasnt lost its sense of community (not yet anyway)and tries to assist its own fans over a season in managing the cost of football. The real Arsenal FC dissapeared down a black hole the day it left Highbury in my view. If the Arse are hoiked out of their 4th place sanctuary, it wont bother me too much for it to be Everton having a go. As a footie fan primarily its time that top 4 cartel was rocked and rattled to its foundations in truth. Its boring! - Post No. 51826

Stroud Green Road Boy  17:22pm 3rd Apr 2014

@Amos, and it's not me suggesting you believe Arsenal should be held to account for the London living wage - of course you don't. My point is you're suggesting others are making that suggestion, when they aren't. Pointing out the club's culpability in all this is not 'wailing'; I'm sure Citizens UK put plenty of thought into their campaigns. I would never buy anything from the catering facilities at the ground anyway so am already behind any campaign you wish to start to this end. AFC 'acting on their own' here would have value as it would set a precedent that other clubs would soon feel obliged to follow. But they'd have to pay a little more for the next contract of course, so they'll resist as long as they deem it expedient. And Badarse, of course if/when they finally relent it would be a 'token gesture' but the club's motivations are secondary to those workers earning a bit more, not a reason to accept them doing nothing. And obviously there are bigger targets, but this is an AFC site. You've no idea what any of us are doing beyond this. - Post No. 51827

Ron  17:30pm 3rd Apr 2014

JJ - Hi mate. Ive not had a prediction come true though yet dont forget. Its the day out though thats the thing for me, win lose or draw. Any stadium with any atmosphere makes this feeble lot of ours quake in their woollen boots (have you ever heard of anything so barmy?) i reckon. Everton will have a real head of steam blowing on Sunday if it starts to go their way and Goodison is far more atmospheric than ever Anfield is, even though theese awful early kick offs dilute it, despite the myth of Anfield. Arsenal have changed it a bit from time to time down the years, but the London Cubs have never much liked or coped with any intimidatory away venues very well have they, esp in the NW when the home team is going well. Evertons record v Arsenal though is poor it has to be said, but i just reckon this one on Sunday is theirs. The Arsenal might shock us though i suppose with a bit of good fortune and a fair wind. - Post No. 51828

BADARSE  17:48pm 3rd Apr 2014

SGRB, I was not suggesting that I was in possession of the knowledge of people's actions outside of the postings offered, nor criticising any imagined purpose they do or don't pursue. My comments were as a response to a seemingly vague and on occasions naive approach. I wasn't sermonising, nor lecturing, just offering a view of a bigger picture, and yes this is an Arsenal football website but that shouldn't preclude anyone from making related comments should it? I am also perplexed that you somehow leapt to the conclusion that I was making a case for AFC doing nothing. Of course they should do something, wasn't that fairly obvious? I think I've said enough. - Post No. 51829

Stroud Green Road Boy  18:15pm 3rd Apr 2014

Badarse, to clarify I'm not suggesting that you beliee nothing should be done - I'm aware of your sense of social justice and am in agreement with most of your prevous post. I'm merely pointing that from 'it's too difficult', 'it would be a token gesture' and 'there are bigger issues' a case could be made, by someone, for doing nothing. And as the 'bigger issues' comment was made to the commentators on this site, that's who I assumed the target was. If not, I withdraw that particular response. - Post No. 51831

Aubertcourt63  19:37pm 3rd Apr 2014

I read an article about Gazedis recently. He made a big point of how proud he was of his father who fought against apatheid. The idea of the living wage being complex and political seems very hypocritical in this context. - Post No. 51832

Moscow Gooner  19:46pm 3rd Apr 2014

I don't for one moment buy the ideologically-skewed comments of Badarse and others that this is all an indictment of that nasty, horrible, capitalist economy that keeps us awake at nights - that economy for all its flaws has actually has made each of us far more prosperous and well-provided for than any socialist alternative ever could. But the solution here is simple: if you don't like Arsenal's policy on wages - or on anything else - take your custom elsewhere, ie don't renew the season ticket. That pressure would be very effective in forcing them to pay a living wage - and in putting together a decent squad. The problem is that very few people are prepared to go beyond a rant here and actually take the necessary action. And I include myself in that - having just got my ticket for Wembley and Wigan.... - Post No. 51833

Ron  20:00pm 3rd Apr 2014

MG - Very fair comments and true to a great extent. Its the beauty of our society in the West though that we re allowed to take whatever fruits come our way from the system and also see it for what it really is, warts, and all. The odd benefit or fruit doesn't and never should allow the sinister and exploitative darker side to be shoved under the carpet.Its also apt to say too i feel that there has never been a genuine socialist system to compare it too anywhere. I agree with you though, its easy to use the broadest of brushes to slake the system and actually miss the real rogues within it as BADARSE has done with his Derek Hatton type slashing strokes. - Post No. 51834

BADARSE  20:37pm 3rd Apr 2014

SGRB, still friends! - Post No. 51835

Torbay gooner  20:39pm 3rd Apr 2014

Very good article, what's that old saying, 'where there's a will there's a way'. If Arsenal wanted to do it then of course they could do so. Gazidis's response was pathetic, but sadly not surprising. - Post No. 51836

BADARSE  20:54pm 3rd Apr 2014

Thanks for the vote of confidence there. I am on the right website aren't I? This is the Ronline Gooner isn't it? Any 'Quip of the Day', maguiresbridge? Thought not. - Post No. 51837

Jason B  21:11pm 3rd Apr 2014

@ website editor. Please keep politics off the website, We have enough silly posts on here as it is without someone moaning about the minimum wage. We are all aware of how much footballers earn,e.t.c.Why allow someone to point out the differences in a blog? a waste of space. - Post No. 51838

QuartzGooner  21:28pm 3rd Apr 2014

@Citizens UK Your article is badly remiss for not mentioning that most catering staff are employed by Delaware North, not directly by Arsenal. @Jason B If you look at the Forum of this website you will see there are sometimes political discussions, though the moderators keep a close eye as things can get out of hand, and then a thread gets locked. As one of those moderators, we would not bat an eyelid over this article. It makes a fair point. Even though Arsenal do not pay most of the wages of those employed on match days (as others have pointed out, these jobs are sub contracted to other companies) it is quite shocking just how low the hourly rate is for these jobs. You have executive box holders getting served by waitresses who are on less than 7 pounds per hour. I would hope that the way forward is for Arsenal to demand a decent hourly wage for their catering staff and such a raise could be funded by not signing such wage wasting players as Park and Miyaichi. - Post No. 51839

Jules  22:18pm 3rd Apr 2014

Jason B - How sad that you are so narrow-minded as to not appreciate that this is a well intentioned article which many (myself included) will regard as raising an important issue. I applaud the Online Gooner for running it and not letting people like you restrict their content. @CitiziensUK - As has been pointed out the criticism should be aimed primarily at Delaware North and it's a shame that they are not at least named in the article. Yes, Arsenal have a responsibility to ensure their third party partners adhere to their principles and they should be putting pressure on Delaware (and other contracting parties they may use) to change their policies, but it's Delaware who are in the wrong. I think the suggestion made by Amos for people to boycott the catering facilities is a good one even though it's probably unrealistic to expect it to happen in large enough numbers for it to have an effect. - Post No. 51840

maguiresbridge gooner  0:10am 4th Apr 2014

BADARSE, maybe if you'd have been polite enough to just ask the question instead of answering it as well, you'd have given me more time to check and answer, but as you've asked, a couple of good efforts but nothing worthy today. - Post No. 51841

Jason B  0:51am 4th Apr 2014

@ Jules.@ quartz gooner. This is a football forum, about the game of football and not newsnight.Lets keep it that way. If you don't like the way the club pays it's employees then perhaps you shouldn't give the club or its contractors your money. - Post No. 51842

CT Gooner  1:19am 4th Apr 2014

I think some still like to think that Arsenal are that local Islington club. I wish they were, but I think the move to the Grove & especially the old guard selling to A cheap American businessman ended that. The Arsenal are now a corporate giant, paying the chosen few, while shafting the common man. Wenger gave us this so we could compete remember....does it feel like we're really competing? Maybe if we'd strengthened the squad last summer. If only..... - Post No. 51843

Dark Hei  5:47am 4th Apr 2014

Supply for low skilled workers outstrip demand for them. Which is why pay is so low. Question is why are there so many of them in an advanced economy? You can install an artificial solution (minimum wage), or you can actually try figure out what is wrong with the current market. Personally, I am against artificial solutions, they tend to come back to you down the line. Easy to implement politically and impossible to remove once they become an impediment. But I am not from UK so the guys there will have to figure it all out. - Post No. 51844

Alsace Lorraine de Totteridge  8:30am 4th Apr 2014

The catering profession is a thankless and badly paid industry. "Lovely" Mr Tony Blair used to work in a Paris Restaurant (or so he claimed)doing the dishes, which may account for the national minimum wage, without which these guys would be being paid even less. Arsenal's non-playing wage bill must be astronomical. (Especially the one for their Alsatian thought police. So they are providing an appallingly poor value for money catering service, paying their workers badly and charging us through the nose. It would be interesting to know whether the poor pay is the way the club has always been run? I doubt it. Thanks to the writer of this piece for reminding us that there are those much less fortunate than ourselves. - Post No. 51845

Richard  11:21am 4th Apr 2014

As a Christian(note-a proper one not, C of E, RC, or any other made up heretics) nothing surprises here as the natural man particularly the wealthy are totally depraved and wicked. Yet the football fan doesn't come out of this un-tainted. When people demand success at any cost because of their lusts they are partaking in the absurd wages that get handed out to footballers, managers and those who run these clubs. Why? Because their ego's want their club to be the best in the business. Why? So they can boast of what a bunch of overpaid stinkers have achieved for their team (Idol) which was only made up in the first place. As Jesus said in the gospels 'They have their things in this life' The vast majority of mankind will have to endure Gods wrath eternally in the 'Lake of Fire' While many of those who are persecuted in this life will live in eternal bliss. It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. - Post No. 51855

Pesho Saulov  13:40pm 4th Apr 2014

"Gazidis, whose remuneration package exceeded £2 million for the 2011/12 season, replied, “The London Living Wage is well intentioned but the issue is complex and political and, in any case, the Arsenal benefits packages are generous in market terms.” "Sums it up really. I reckon the club will have no problem to pay the Living Wage to ALL its employes if they sack Abou Diaby! - Post No. 51868

maguiresbridge gooner  14:16pm 4th Apr 2014

Pesho saulov, sack Diaby? he's our saviour mate, so we keep being told, by some anyway, it was supposed to be the league now it's the FAC what year is any body's guess. - Post No. 51870

jjetplane  15:31pm 4th Apr 2014

I have always had a moral thing about the Emiratz though I did go to see the Kansas Royals with a 'retired cheerleader' a couple of times. One was a friday night and the dogs were a dollar and the Royals, like Arsenal were pretty ****. I have been lucky with Arsenal to have seen them in the skin for well over forty years and the emmyratz experience has never made me feel I am missing out, so like CT Gooner says - if you know like then don't go. Leave it to those who uncritically like blockbusters with little substance. Arsene and his teams post 2005 have been perfect for that and I wonder if Mr 8m a year ever looks in the eyes of some of them workers .... Big match tomorrow - semi final Vase - please let it be us who go to wembley ... - Post No. 51875

Stuart  23:35pm 4th Apr 2014

If it means Wenger has to resign, then I'm all for it. - Post No. 51882

exile&dangerous  9:27am 5th Apr 2014

Good article, and a comments thread that mentions politics, religion and football. Time at the bar, folks..... PS perhaps the playing staff could donate 5% of a week's wages into a bonus fund for the rest of the workers at the end of the season, to help them out over the summer? - Post No. 51884

Joe S.  2:32am 6th Apr 2014

No surprises that Arsenal are not paying their employees a living wage when you think that Kroenke is associated with WalMart one of the meanest vilest and cost efficient retailers there is. What are Chinese production workers and Wal Mart's working poor earning per hour I wonder. On the other hand it's also a reflection on the times we live in. Here in Australia our licenced sporting clubs supposedly the pride of the people are more and more hiring cheaper, non unionised Asian staff to boost their profits. - Post No. 51898

BADARSE  8:38am 6th Apr 2014

Joe S. your post is in the group of sensible and coherent ones chum. What you say is true regarding Walmart-here the same company is ASDA. ASDA have strong connections with helping 'challenged' workers and some admirable work practises. Probably every UK-based poster on this site shops there. Are the practises conscience-related? That is a personal view anyone can deliberate upon. Where do they source their products though? How brutal are their doctrines with suppliers? Excuse the pun but that is food for thought, and lies at the root of the problem. All the ramifications of modern life are inter-related. There is an irony blindly banging itself against the walls of a darkened room in this. When posts are challenged as being 'too narrow', or being selective-missing the wider aspect of society's influences the 'messenger' is invariably shot. I have been hit many times, but luckily underneath my street clothes I wear a suit bearing a great big 'S', so am bullet-proof. (actually if I pull my shirt apart more openly you might see an AR-ENAL emblazoned there too). The point is that if you bring down the soldier advancing upon you then another takes his place. The system sees to that. At some stage an individual has to remove himself from the battlefield, stop firing at cannon-fodder and aim at the Generals who sit around tables orchestrating the policy. Or at least recognise the enormity of the struggle. Too Derek Hatton for you Ron? - Post No. 51900

QuartzGooner  23:08pm 6th Apr 2014

@Jason B You seem misguided as to the Forum's remit and history of discussion. It is an Arsenal Forum, that veers off into many issues. Discussing whether staff at the club are fairly paid is very much one of those issues. Just as discussing potential takeovers, boardroom issues, transport to and from games, licensing laws, the club's marketing activities, racism in football etc are all very valid. This place is not and has never been just for tactics or transfers. On the Forum over the years we have discussed many non-football issues. - Post No. 52008

Ron  7:50am 7th Apr 2014

BADARSE - Not Hattonish at all. Sanctimonious twaddle but not at all Hattonesque, not one bit. Even that fraudulent nutter never descended into farce while carrying those of your persuasion with him nonetheless. - Post No. 52027

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds