London

Policing football matches in London costs Met £6.7m

Police on horses line up outside the stadium prior to kick off during the match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at White Hart Lane Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Football clubs can only be charged for policing inside stadiums or on their land

Policing football matches in London cost the Met Police nearly £6.7m during the 2016/17 season.

The force spent £7.1m covering professional football matches but was only able to recover 5.1% of the costs.

Labour London Assembly member Andrew Dismore, who obtained the figures, called the situation a "farce".

The Met declined to comment. West Ham, the most expensive club to police, said its "considerable contribution" to the UK economy via taxes paid for policing.

London clubs which incurred the highest policing costs

2016/17 season

  • West Ham Policing cost: £1.078,578 (£33,318 recovered by Met)

  • Chelsea Policing cost: £726,683 (£156,375 recovered by Met)

  • Tottenham Policing cost: £652,974 (£55,797 recovered by Met)

Reuters

A spokesperson for the east London club, who play at the London Stadium used in the 2012 Olympics, said: "To make clubs and their fans pay twice for policing is neither legal or fair.

"In the 2014/15 season alone, £2.4 billion in tax was generated from Premier League players, clubs and their supporters.

"In addition, West Ham United work closely with the Metropolitan Police Service to ensure London Stadium is a safe and welcoming environment, with policing costs on matchdays kept to a minimum."

Football matches with highest policing costs in London

2016/17 season

  • £152,733 Manchester Utd v Southampton - EFL Cup Final (£38,474 recovered by Met)

  • £123,609 Tottenham v KAA Gent - Europa League (£10,604 recovered by Met)

  • £120,040 Tottenham v Millwall - FA Cup quarter final (£40,813 recovered by Met)

Getty Images

Football clubs can only be charged for policing inside stadiums or on their land, so the Met must cover costs such as managing travelling supporters or maintaining order outside grounds.

The force only recovered £361,000 from London football clubs, the figures released by City Hall reveal.

City Hall said clubs were being paid the full amount allowed under current legislation but the mayor and the Met were lobbying the government to cover more of the costs.

Mr Dismore said the force "have more important things to spend their budget on".

"London taxpayers should not have to spend another penny on subsidising some of the richest organisations in the world," he added.

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