PCC calls for change in rules to cost of policing football matches
Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw is calling for a change to the rules surrounding the costs related to policing football matches, with the figure set to exceed £1 million across the county this season.
Last year, football-related policing cost Lancashire Constabulary in excess of £700,000, of which £530,000 was recovered from local clubs, leaving a shortfall of around £170,000.
Costs are expected to be higher this season as Chorley has been promoted to the National League and Blackpool is expected to see an increase in supporters following the recent acquisition of the club by a life-long fan.
Current estimates suggest the cost will be around £977,000, with some £593,000 expected to be recouped, leaving a shortfall of more than £384,000.
A recent report into the national cost of policing football matches found that despite costing police forces £48 million last year, just £5.5 million was recovered from football clubs. This follows a legal ruling that determined which costs a police force could charge for.
The Ipswich ruling found that police forces can charge football clubs only for officers deployed inside the stadium, whereas increasingly most of the football-related offences and disorder takes place outside the ground.
Mr Grunshaw said: “Figures produced today by Lancashire Constabulary show why it is important for football clubs to pay their fair share of the costs towards policing football matches.
“Fans expect to feel safe on their way in and out of grounds and this is often where trouble can flare up. Football clubs last year generated record amounts with Premier League clubs enjoying over £5 billion in revenue. Some of these record profits should be directed towards making sure fans and the wider public are safe in and around football grounds.
“I am calling on MPs from across Lancashire to join me in calling for a change to the law which allows for police forces to be able to recoup all associated costs of policing football matches. For clubs to experience record profits while Lancashire Constabulary picks up the tab isn’t fair to the hardworking taxpayers of Lancashire.”