Exclusive

Police chief urges Premier League clubs to contribute more to match day policing costs amid £28m blackhole

16 May 2024, 06:01 | Updated: 16 May 2024, 06:46

The Manchester police chief has told LBC he would like to see Premier League football clubs contributing more to covering the cost of match day policing.
The Manchester police chief has told LBC he would like to see Premier League football clubs contributing more to covering the cost of match day policing. Picture: Alamy

By Chris Chambers

One of the UK’s top police officers has told LBC he would like to see Premier League football clubs contributing more to covering the cost of match day policing.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Stephen Watson, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, revealed that the policing of match days costs the force around £28 million per year more than they're able to recoup from Premier League clubs.

He said the figures now leave a notable "question-mark" over whether that level expenditure is "entirely appropriate".

“Of course, we work very closely with our Premier League clubs, as you might imagine, across Greater Manchester and I think that which we do jointly is at the very professional end of effectively policing these events," he told LBC.

"There's always a debate about the charging mechanisms whereby policing can recover the full cost of policing.

“The current legal position is that police can only claim from clubs that which happens within the footprint of the ground, so it doesn't, for example, cover the cost of police in the city centre before and after a match [or] on transport infrastructure.

It comes as the police chief noted there was a "balance' to be struck between forces and the Premier League clubs, highlighting that at present, policing "expends rather too much.”

Read more: Premier League football clubs must pay more for policing outside games, says former Met chief Lord Hogan Howe

Read more: Premier League poised to strike deal with police after calls for clubs to pay for match day officers

The Manchester police chief has told LBC he would like to see Premier League football clubs contributing more to covering the cost of match day policing.
The Manchester police chief has told LBC he would like to see Premier League football clubs contributing more to covering the cost of match day policing. Picture: Alamy

"So, there was always a bit of attention in the sense that policing expends more on the policing of football than football is able to contribute back into policing,” he added.

The Chief Constable was speaking following comments made to LBC by Met Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, which revealed football matches cost the force £18.5 million in 2023.

Former Met Commissioner, Lord Hogan Howe, has previously told LBC: "The easiest way to resolve it is to make the clubs pay for policing which is not at the grounds.

"I would target the Premiership. Charlton, Leyton Orient and a few others are probably going to be put out of business if we put too much of the public cost of policing [on them].

"But the Premiership pay £100 million for a player, they have the money available.

Read more: 'My leg, my leg': Harrowing screams of woman shot in 'gangland drive-by' in north London

"It's the rest of us that are picking up the bill. I would target the Premiership and change the rules so they have to pay for what's not at the ground."

Chief Constable, Watson, added: “Policing probably expends about £28 million per annum more than it can recover from Premier League clubs and question-mark whether that is entirely appropriate.

"I happen to think that the balance is somewhere closer to fuller cost recovery whilst accepting that actually football clubs themselves cater to mass audiences.

"They have every right to exist and they create a great deal of economic generation within a city and all the rest of it. So of course there's a balance in all things, I just think at the moment policing expends rather too much.”

Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United
Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. Picture: Getty

CC Watson was speaking to LBC about his three years as Chief Constable in Manchester where he has succeeded in bringing the force out of special measures and into one of the most improved in the UK.

He said: “We pledged a ‘back to basics approach’ to fighting crime, protecting victims, and keeping communities safe.

“We have picked up the phone quicker, responded to incidents more speedily, arrested more suspects at scene, solved more investigations, seized more assets from criminals, reduced crime, and kept victims and communities safer.

“We have recruited more officers than GMP has had in a decade (8,200).

“We have invested in key areas to increase capacity and capability, and to ensure that our officers are able to fulfil their role to the best of their capability – including new uniform to look smart, new body worn videos to gather evidence, and new vehicles to be more efficient.

“Our restructured neighbourhood teams are proactively problem-solving in our communities.

“We are doing the job the public expect us to do. Criminals fear enforcement again.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Sadiq Khan dismisses Gove’s antisemitism warning as ‘flowery rhetoric’ - but agrees protest chant should stop

Sadiq Khan dismisses Gove’s antisemitism warning as ‘flowery rhetoric’ - but agrees protest chant should stop

French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron to visit violence-hit New Caledonia

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel aims to contain fallout from arrest warrant request backed by some allies

Liverpool is giving Ms Swift a proper Scouse welcome

Taylor Swift to get proper Scouse welcome as city transforms into 'Taylor Town' as Eras Tour comes to Anfield Stadium

One of nine Egyptians, who was on trial for migrant smuggling, waves to the media as he leaves the court in Kalamata

Greek judge dismisses case against Egyptians accused over migrant ship disaster

One person has died and several people are injured after the flight experience severe turbulence

One dead and 30 injured as flight from London to Singapore plunges 7,000 feet in ‘severe turbulence’

Main defendant Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss

Alleged leaders of suspected German coup plot on trial

Exclusive
A woman in her 50s was pronounced dead at the scene, police confirmed

XL Bully dogs who mauled woman to death were ‘almost never walked and only let out in the garden’

Iranian women attend a mourning ceremony for President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran

Mourners begin days of funerals for Iran’s president killed in helicopter crash

The new product launches on 23rd May

Greggs to launch fish finger sandwich in latest addition to menu - see if your local store has them in stock

Anne Robinson has revealed she has 'given away' her £50million fortune to her family to save it from the taxman after she dies

Anne Robinson has 'given away' her £50million fortune to her family to save it from the taxman after she dies

People attend a ceremony to pay tribute to Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi

What next for Iran’s government after death of president in helicopter crash?

Thousands of mourners packed the streets of Tabriz this morning as they mourn President Ebrahim Raisi

Thousands of mourners pack the streets as funeral procession begins for Iran’s President Raisi

Thunderstorms are returning to parts of the UK

Goodbye sunshine as parts of UK set to be battered by thunderstorms as Met Office issues weather warnings

Palestinian gunmen at a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin

Israeli forces kill at least seven Palestinians in West Bank raid

Lord Ken Clarke has 'questions to answer' over Infected Blood Scandal minister tells LBC amid calls to revoke peerage

Lord Ken Clarke has 'questions to answer' over Infected Blood Scandal minister tells LBC amid calls to revoke peerage