Senior faith, union and community leaders from Cardiff Citizens, part of national community organising charity Citizens UK, and the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust, have written to Cardiff City FC chairman, Mehmet Dalman today, asking him to announce that Cardiff will become the first football club to pay all their staff the Living Wage (£7.65 an hour) before the season ends.
The letter also informs Mr Dalman that young people from the communities involved will march to the Cardiff City Stadium before kick-off on the last game of the season against Chelsea on May 11th to hear the Club’s answer and hand over the funds they have raised to encourage the Club to adopt the Living Wage. Dozens of local people are expected to save up and donate £1.34 (the gap between the hourly Minimum Wage and the Living Wage) to the Club.
They will be accompanied by a giant ‘Bluebird for a Living Wage’ created by local young people, which will be carried in a procession through Grangetown before the game. Local youth football teams have already agreed to host a Living Wage Cup 5-a-side tournament and community fun day at a local park to raise funds.
A petition has also been launched in support of the campaign: https://citizens.nationbuilder.com/ccfc_petition
Cardiff City has an estimated annual wage bill of £18 million for its players, but the cleaners, stewards and hospitality staff who are vital to its success are paid as little as £6.31 an hour, the National Minimum Wage.
The Living Wage is a voluntary measure supported by over 650 employers across the UK who commit to pay all of their directly-employed and sub-contracted staff enough to live, rather than just enough to survive. The Living Wage is currently £7.65 an hour.
Accredited Living Wage employers in Wales include Cardiff Council, Wales & West Housing, Burns Pet Nutrition, Taff Housing Association and KPMG.
Cardiff Citizens and the Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust wrote to Mr Dalman earlier this year. The Club replied saying that the Board would consider introducing the Living Wage.
El Bashir Idris, a young leader with Cardiff Citizens, said: “The players, the Club itself, and the city’s economy have all benefited from the Club’s success to the tune of millions of pounds, yet essential matchday staff are paid rock-bottom rates. That can’t be right – and we are calling on the Club to announce that they will introduce the Living Wage soon.”
Tim Hartley, chair of Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust, said: “The minimum wage is just that, the legal minimum. The Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust believes that the club not only can, but should, pay the Living Wage to all its staff.”
Richard Weaver, a leader with Vale of Glamorgan Citizens and lifelong fan, said: “We all love our local Club and were very proud when they got promoted to the Premier League. We would be even prouder of our Club if they showed their appreciation of the community and their staff by becoming the first ever Living Wage football club.”
A hospitality worker at the Club speaking under condition of anonymity, said: “An extra £1.34 an hour might not make a difference to a Premiership footballer, but it will make a massive difference to me and the staff who are struggling to support our families and make ends meet.”