Met earns millions for policing football but costs are higher still

policeThe Metropolitan Police was paid more that £10 million for policing matches in the Premier League and Football League from 2010 to 2014.

And more than a third of that money came from Arsenal, who paid more than double their north London rival Tottenham and nearly 3 times as much as Chelsea.

The figures on income from policing fooball were revealed by the Metropolitan Police in response to a freedom on information request. It shows that income from all clubs in the 2013/14 season was £1.9 million, down from almost £2.5 million the season before.

Metropolitan Police, Income from Premier League and Football League clubs
2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 Total
All Clubs £2,637,621 £3,112,736 £2,482,180 £1,908,954 £10,141,491
Arsenal £923,462 £943,136 £923,462 £767,075 £3,557,135
Chelsea £318,350 £328,897 £318,350 £237,235 £1,202,832
Crystal Palace 188,705 £219,204 £174,120 £62,945 £644,974
Fulham £155,671 £190,771 £157,671 £99,136 £603,249
QPR £109,101 £138,674 £87,901 £51,556 £387,232
Tottenham £404,265 £423,486 £404,265 £283,587 £1,515,603
West Ham £189,694 £537,934 £189,694 187,303 £1,104,625

Arsenal’s Emirates stadium has the largest capacity in London after Wembley with seating for more than 60,000, but taking the charges as a cost per seat still show Arsenal paying a much bigger bill. On the basis of the 2013/14 season Arsenal paid £12.69 per seat, Chelsea £5,67 and Tottenham £7.81.

Policing of matches has been a contentious issue with the football authorities arguing that part of the cost should be met within the regular police budget and that is it unfair to charge all costs to the clubs.

A legal ruling in 2008 said the clubs could only be held liable for costs incurred for policing in their ‘footprint’, meaning inside a stadium or in the area immediately surrounding it.. That means a substantial shortfall for the police for the cost of officers on the routes to and from the grounds.

Information previously released by the Met shows that it estimates that the cost of policing Premier League matches in the 2012/13 season was £3.25 million. The most recent data release shows that the income from the 6 clubs in the league that season was £2.08 million.

The bill for the Met has gone up since. In response to a question from Labour London Assembly member Andrew Dinsmore the Mayor has revealed that the cost to the force for policing outside club ‘footprints’ was £1.9 million in the last season, 2014/15.

Guidelines issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers in 2014 says that all the costs of policing a football match should be recovered. But the arrangements between forces and clubs are subject to individual agreements and the debate about who pays the bill is likely to continue.

Source data

See also

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