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MAN. UNITED: World’s richest club refusing to pay living wages

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The richest football club in the world, Manchester United of England, has been accused of refusing to pay its staff, (not players), what is known in Britain as the Real Living Wage. The club is valued at a whopping US$3.3 billion and pays some of the highest wages in world football to its star players.

(But campaigners for the Living Wage, which is calculated on the basic amount needed to meet the cost of living, say that Man. United is leading a number of leading English premier clubs in refusing to pay this minimum wage to its lowly staff, including caterers, cleaners and stewards. By contrast the club pays Chilean Alexis Sanchez an enormous 350,000 pounds A WEEK (roughly EC$ 1.2 million) and Paul Pogba about EC$ 960,000 weekly.

Three years ago, English premier League clubs had committed to join the more than 4000 British firms which already pay the minimum living wage, but so far only West ham, Chelsea and Everton have done so. Liverpool and Fulham have agreed to do so by year end and Manchester city is expected to follow, according to the wage campaigners.

Not so the wealthy Man. United, which is not only refusing to honour the commitment, but steadfastly refuses to even meet with the campaigners to discuss the issue. It caused protesters to stage a demonstration last Friday outside the club ground where the team opened its 2018 campaign.

It is another example that there is much more to sport than what takes place on the field, that social justice continues to be an issue including fair wages for workers.

(contributed by Renwick Rose)

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