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Football fans to join Living Wage protest before Arsenal game

Football fans will join a protest before this weekend's north London derby game to call on Arsenal Football Club to pay all its staff and contractors the Living Wage.

Campaign groups have been targeting top clubs for years in a bid to persuade them to pay the voluntary rate, which increased this week by 40p an hour to £8.25 and by 25p to £9.40 in London.

The protest will be held before Arsenal's game with local rivals Spurs on Sunday.

Gary Doolan, of the GMB union, which is supporting the protest, said: "Arsenal is a very wealthy football club with stars paid millions of pounds a year so it can afford to pay cleaners, caterers and security staff a living wage."

Chelsea is the only Premier League club accredited to the Living Wage Foundation, although Norwich has said it intends to accredit.

Heart of Midlothian and Luton Town are also accredited.

Arsenal said in a statement: "We pay all our people good rates which are above the London Living Wage. This includes permanent and fixed-term employees and workers. As an example, match day stewards are paid £9.50 an hour.

"This means that rates for all our employees already exceed the Government's 2020 National Living Wage target. It also goes beyond the Premier League's recent resolution, which we fully supported.

"In terms of third-party contractors, pay conditions form part of our renewal discussions as those contracts come up for renewal. Our recent maintenance contract with CBRE, for example, contains an undertaking by CBRE that their employees are paid at least the London Living Wage.

"Pay conditions will form a part of the discussion when our cleaning contract comes up for renewal and are included in ongoing discussions with our caterers."

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