On 19th April as a member of the planning committee I was proud to vote to approve development of a premier league stadium for our premier league club, Crystal Palace.  Now it’s time for the club to create long term community wealth by paying all its staff a REAL London Living Wage. At the planning committee meeting I was able to meet Steve Parish, the club’s chairman and gain his commitment to making progress serious progress. To take things forward he agreed to a meeting with the LivingWage Foundation to discuss steps to build the LivingWage into procurement processes and learn from other clubs and businesses that have gone LivingWage, a good next step.

During the application process, Roy Hodgson, the club’s manager wrote to me and my response explains why it’s so vital the club goes Living Wage.

Dear Mr. Hodgson,

Thank you for your letter (13th March) regarding the Selhurst Park redevelopment application. It was a pleasure to read about your past experiences growing up in Croydon as a young boy, as well as your more recent enjoyable experience in the town at Boxpark. As you will appreciate, local councillors like myself put a lot of thought and work into improving our community to ensure it’s an appealing area to live, work and play.

I am hopeful that the Selhurst Park redevelopment plan will reap many benefits for, not only the club, but employees at Crystal Palace FC and local residents. As Croydon is being improved there is, of course, increased interest in the area from people not currently living in or around the town. In turn, this will force an increase in living costs, putting pressure on the local community for some of whom Croydon has been home for many years. And, you’ll remember from your years living here, that Croydon as it is has a wealth of talent and diversity that we’re all proud of.

To ensure Crystal Palace FC employees are not pushed out of the local area, we strongly recommend the club signs up to the Living Wage pledge. This would mean your employees are paid £10.20 an hour – an amount that means life as a South Londoner is sustainable rather than shrouded in anxiety and doubt. 

We’ve had strong support for the scheme from a number of businesses and residents throughout the borough, including Ikea and Dotmailer. Securing the future of your employees will undoubtedly enable the young fans in the area – your including dependents of your employees – to keep attending the Palace For Life Foundation, as well as those all important Premier League matches.

Employers signed up to the scheme have witnessed improved team morale, fewer sick days being taken and employees taking an active role in becoming ambassadors for their brand. We sincerely hope you’ll consider Crystal Palace FC becoming a Living Wage employer and securing the future of its fans, the employees that make it possible to host the matches and, in turn, the club.

If you’d like to learn more about the scheme, visit https://www.livingwage.org.uk/ or reach out to me personally.

Yours Sincerely,

Cllr Jamie Audsley

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