Wednesday 8 February 2017 6:16 pm

Mayor Sadiq Khan facing calls to make London football clubs foot £5m policing bill

Mayor Sadiq Khan has been urged to ensure that London’s football clubs pay the £5m it costs to police their matches every year.

The London Assembly agreed a motion on Wednesday asking Khan to lobby government for a change in the law that would make clubs foot the full bill for policing.

Clubs are currently only required to pay for policing inside stadia or on their land.

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Khan should also write to clubs asking them to pay the costs voluntarily in the meantime, the Assembly agreed.

“It is outrageous that clubs, who can afford to pay their players thousands upon thousands of pounds a week, expect the taxpayer to pick up the bill for anything that happens outside their ground,” said assembly member Andrew Dismore, who proposed the motion.

The net cost to the Metropolitan Police of deploying officers to football matches across London last season totalled £5,019,992 – a sum equivalent to the salaries of 93 constables – according to the mayor’s office.

“This is placing a big strain on Met resources and it’s time for clubs to dig deep,” Dismore added. “They are depriving London of nearly 100 extra officers a year, and it’s quite clear the law needs to change.”

Liberal Democrat assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, who seconded the motion, said: “At a time when budgets are so incredibly stretched it cannot be right that commercial football teams, some of which are owned by billionaires and paying out million pound salaries to their players, are not paying the full police costs generated by their matches.”