Celtic AGM: Living wage ‘not in interests of club’

Celtic have defended their stance of not paying employees the living wage of £8.25 an hour at the club’s annual general meeting.

Supporters and shareholders have called on the club to sign up to the living wage scheme. Picture: John Devlin

Chairman Ian Bankier said it was “not in the interests” of Celtic to follow in the footsteps of around 380 Scottish employers – including fellow Ladbrokes Premiership club Heart of Midlothian – in signing up for the scheme.

Celtic employees are paid £7.85 per hour, which was the previous living wage. However, the rate, adjusted by the Living Wage Foundation, was raised by 40p earlier this month.

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Many shareholders have called for the club to change their stance.

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Celtic’s HR manager Mike Hayes defended the current position, though he say the wage structure would be reviewed next year.

He said: “They introduced that this month and you have six months to implement that. We review our rates of pay annually. We had a loss this year of £3.5m but we still gave our employees a pay rise.

“We have not made decisions going forward. We will make a decision later in the year. Any increases will apply in the new year. I have been here 13 years and I do feel we are competitive.

“We launched an initiative called Celtic Pride about employee recognition and making people feel valued.

“I sincerely believe Celtic are a very good employer and I know that Celtic compares favourably with other football clubs.

“We received investors in people accreditation and we are the only professional club north of the border who has that. We are a good employer which you wouldn’t think if you listened externally to what has been said about us in terms of the living wage.

“We are not complacent, we believe we are a good employer and are always looking for ways to improve.”

The shareholders have voted on the resolution though the results have yet to be announced.