Who foots the bill?

Council and football club unable to agree over cleaning costs

By Luchia Robinson

Tottenham Hotspur stadium            Credit: Stephen Furner

With Tottenham Hotspur FC now finally installed in their new stadium, the issue of post-match cleaning has come to the fore.

When TCP asked Haringey leader, Cllr Joseph Ejiofor whether Haringey Council and Tottenham Hotspur have come to an agreement about the street cleaning, Cllr Ejiofor said that there had been “complicated discussions” about the situation.

“There is currently no agreement about who foots the bill for cleaning up post-match.

“We are looking at what the cost to Haringey Council tax payers would be, and we are asking Spurs to pay an appropriate amount to the council to help clean up post-match,” said Cllr Ejiofor.

“The reality is that even in the smaller stadium, it cost us thousands of pounds to clean the council estates post-match. That money was eventually being charged to Haringey’s social housing tenants. We don’t believe that that is fair. We believe a fairer situation would be that a club of the wealth of Spurs makes a fair contribution to cleaning up the community in which it is based.”

A spokesperson for Tottenham Hotspur stated that the club’s new business rate payment, which will be in excess of £3million per year, based on the new stadium floor space for 62,000 spectators, will more than cover the costs as business rate payments have always covered litter collection and street cleansing on match days.

The club representative said: “Previously with the old stadium we paid rates of circa £850k for 36,000 spectators. Our rates are increasing by more than 250% and the visitor numbers by only 67%. The financial contribution the club is making to the council’s budget is therefore a significant, increased amount.”

“Additionally the club owns multiple business and domestic properties locally for which we also pay business and domestic rates– many of these on roads we are currently cleaning ourselves and will be continuing to do so.”

With regards to the cleaning payment arrangements Tottenham Hotspur had with Brent Council, the Spurs representative said: “The club [was] in effect hiring Wembley Stadium whilst our own stadium [was] being completed, we contributed there because we did not pay business rates to Brent Council, nor [did we] undertake the enhanced cleaning measures there.”

Cllr Ejiofor has voiced his concerns about the mess likely to occur when 62,000 supporters visit Tottenham for matches at the new stadium. “The council believes in the principle that the polluter should pay to mitigate the effects that their business has on the neighbourhood and the environment around them,” said Cllr Ejiofor.

Tottenham Hotspur say they have offered to support Haringey Council through the enhancement of the club’s match day cleaning regime.

This, they say will include street cleaning an area wider than the club’s own footprint; purchasing their own road sweeper; providing funding for the provision of 30 extra bins; post-match litter picking at four of Tottenham’s train stations, and shuttle bus and coach pick-up/ drop off points; and running the ‘Spurs Respects’ campaign to encourage the responsible disposal of litter and recycling.

“We have funded many improvements and services in our locality. We feel that our business rates, along with additional business rates and domestic rates from our properties on surrounding roads, (and) the additional cleaning and waste measures we are implementing and funding, more than covers the requirements for a match day.

“We are fiercely proud of Tottenham and look forward to working closely with Haringey Council to achieve what we all want– a clean, vibrant environment for all.”