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

24 January 2024, 19:40 | Updated: 24 January 2024, 23:42

Met chief Lord Hogan Howe said clubs should pay more for policing
Met chief Lord Hogan Howe said clubs should pay more for policing. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Top flight football clubs must pay more for policing outside games, former Met chief Lord Hogan Howe has said.

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Lord Hogan Howe said Premier League clubs should be paying more towards policing as they can afford it.

It comes after Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley told LBC policing football matches cost the force £18.5 million in 2023.

Clubs currently only pay for officers who go into the ground, with surrounding areas and stations being policed by the Met.

"The easiest way to resolve it is to make the clubs pay for policing which is not at the grounds," Lord Hogan Howe said.

"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.

"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."

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Lord Hogan Howe on top flight football clubs paying more for policing

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel echoed calls for clubs to pay more, saying: "I think the clubs do need to stump up more and contributing more to the policing.

"As we know, these events can get out of hand, and there can be criminality taking place and then the police just get dumped on and have to pick up all the pieces.

"So I would like to see a more proportionate engagement and better funding in this whole area."

Lord Carlile, who is the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, suggested there be a contract between police and football clubs.

"Most of the trouble that occurs at football grounds is not cause by the football clubs," he said.

"There is a case for having a contract between football clubs and the police where certain items are included like ordinary public order policing, but where there are special issues that need to be policed at extra cost.

"There's no reason why the football clubs should not be asked to pay a reasonable amount for it."

Lord Carlile on top flight football clubs paying more for policing

Speaking during Call the Commissioner last week, Sir Mark said: "Last year, 2023, policing football in London cost us £18.5 million, that the Premier League don't pay for.

“If you wanted to help the police out with people paying for the policing they draw out of communities, that'd be a more powerful example.

“Arsenal, Chelsea and the others do not pay for our officers on the street.

“There's a very narrow legal framework, which says that they only pay for the officers who go into the ground.

“All of those officers managing stuff around the ground come out of our budget.

“There are very few officers in the grounds.

“But all the ones outside on horses, all dealing with disorder before and afterwards, around train stations, etc, that adds up to £18.5million last year, not paid for.”

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