Premier League club becomes latest of only five clubs, including Chelsea, to win accreditation by Living Wage Foundation.
Everton has become the second Premier League club to pledge to pay all its staff at least the independently calculated living wage.
The Liverpool-based football club is being accredited by the Living Wage Foundation as the body prepares to announce this year’s minimum pay rate – which is based on a calculation of the amount employees and their families need to live.
Everton FC joins Chelsea, the London club owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, which is the only other Premier League club to pay all its workers, including contractors and agency staff, at least the minimum wage.
Famous footballers may earn millions of pounds a year, but clubs have been criticised for paying backroom staff, particularly contractors who can make up the majority of those working on matchdays, little more than the legally required minimum.
Only five football clubs – including Luton Town, Derby County and Heart of Midlothian – are fully accredited by the LWF, ensuring that all staff and agency workers have earned at least £9.40 an hour in London and £8.25 outside the capital.
Ahead of accreditation by the LWF, Everton has handed 250 casual and match-day staff a pay rise taking them to the living wage. Over the next three years, it has also pledged to ensure that more than 700 contractors working for the club will receive a pay rise amounting to as much as £2,000 a year.
Prof Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton’s deputy chief executive and director, said: “It is extremely important to us that we treat all of our colleagues well and reward people fairly in terms of their pay. Supporting the accredited living wage is quite simply the right thing to do; it improves our employees’ quality of life but also benefits our business and society as a whole.”
Katherine Chapman, the director of the Living Wage Foundation, welcomed the accreditation, saying: “It is fantastic that Everton have become the second Premier League football club to sign up as a living wage employer, ensuring that all their staff – from caterers to match day staff – receive a real living wage that covers the cost of living.
“I hope other football clubs will take their lead and follow suit.”