Members of Islington Citizens were proud and excited that their local football club, Arsenal FC had not only reached the FA Cup final, but had won after 9 years in waiting! On Sunday 18th May, as the Cup, players and WAGs were paraded on an open-top bus through the streets of Islington to a richly deserved Town Hall reception, members urged Arsenal once again to do the right thing – pay the Living Wage to third party contractors.
This is the latest of many appeals from the alliance and supporters that Arsenal live up to their professed values and commit to the London Living Wage.
Arsenal has constantly resisted the pressure from the alliance. Arsenal is a club who pride themselves on their values and particularly their relationship with their fans and the local community. So it is mystifying that Arsenal will not lead, as they often do among football clubs, by doing the right thing for their lowest paid staff.
Certainly Arsenal can afford it. In the fevered world of football finance Arsenal are leader in establishing economic stability and sustainability in line with UEFA Financial Fair Play requirements. It is generally accepted that the club has prudently built up huge cash reserves amounting to scores of £ millions.
Jo Bownas, a member of Islington Citizens, said “No more excuses – Arsenal please take a lead and be the first Premier League Club to adopt the Living Wage and then we can be totally proud of our club as we so much want to be.”