Casual workers and spare food: Premier League clubs navigate postponements


On Friday Premier League clubs were forced to decide whether to compensate casual workers expecting to be paid at their stadiums over the next three days as they began donating food bought for their postponed home matches.

The Guardian established that Manchester City would pay all their casual staff – more than 1,000 – and that Fulham would pay the casual matchday staff they directly employ. Of other clubs who responded, Leicester, Leeds, Southampton, Liverpool and Arsenal said they would not make payments now because casual staff would be paid when these cancelled games are played.

Liverpool are understood to be in a very small minority of league clubs all of whose casual staff – more than 2,000 – have contracts directly with the club. Most clubs outsource catering and stewarding contracts to outside companies and do not have as many staff on casual contracts.

A number of clubs said they were donating food to those in need after the death on Thursday of Queen Elizabeth II prompted the decision to postpone games. Liverpool said they had donated 30 trolleys of sandwiches on Friday morning and that further food would be given to local community initiatives including a homeless charity and Fans Supporting Foodbanks.

Leeds said they would donate surplus food to the clubs’ supporters’ trust, which would donate it to a food bank. Arsenal’s catering contractors plan to save as much food as they can in freezers, with a Europa League fixture scheduled for Thursday, but that anything else would be given to local projects.

Crystal Palace said they had donated food including 100kg of fruit and vegetables to a food bank and food charity. It is understood City will donate any perishable food to local communities and food banks.

The English Football League, like the Premier League, said it had left each club to decide whether to pay casual workers who were expecting to be at their stadiums on Friday or Saturday.

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Marta Lopez

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