Home Secretary Theresa May has been urged to change the law so that police forces can recoup more of the cost of policing top flight football matches.
Currently forces, including London’s Metropolitan Police Service, can only bill clubs for policing inside stadiums and on their grounds and are unable to recoup the costs of escorting fans to local transport links and ensuring crowds disperse.
London Assembly member Andrew Dismore has called for the rules to be changed after figures he obtained revealed the Met spent almost £2m last year providing policing services for football matches.
Mr Dismore says with the Met facing another round of budget cuts the public should no longer provide free crowd control to clubs.
He commented: “If top-flight clubs can afford to pay players hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, they can afford to cover the full cost of policing their games instead of expecting the tax payer to fork out millions to police money-making matches.
“This is one case where the goalposts do need to be moved and it’s down to the Home Secretary to level the playing field and make sure clubs are properly contributing to the cost of keeping their fans safe.”
Mr Dismore’s call for a change in the law follows a suggestion by London’s deputy mayor for policing that clubs should become responsible for providing their own post-match crowd control stewards.