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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2007, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Match policing 'needs more cash'
Police outside Wembley before the FA Cup final
More than 1,000 officers policed the FA Cup Final on 19 May
Football clubs must spend more on policing outside their grounds, says the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

At a Metropolitan Police Authority meeting on Thursday Sir Ian Blair said taxpayers should not be burdened with keeping football fans safe on streets.

He said the law should be changed to make clubs pay for policing outside their grounds as well as inside.

Sir Ian's comments came after more than 1,000 officers policed the FA Cup Final won by Chelsea on 19 May.

We actually say to those making a very large amount of money - this is a special service that must be paid for
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair

He said: "Wembley is a success story with one exception, that it is a very expensive operation.

"The cup final took 1,000 officers to police it and we receive almost nothing back from the FA and Wembley authorities for that expenditure."

He said these officers are not where they should be, which was on boroughs.

A FA spokesman said: "We put money into policing the games in the stadium as we do all our games, we do exactly the same for other stadiums such as Old Trafford in Manchester.

"So we would have been in close communication with the Metropolitan Police and Wembley (Stadium) and we hope to continue working closely with them, especially now that Wembley Stadium is back."

Sir Ian said organisers of other sporting events should also contribute, but that the London Marathon and charities would be exempt.

'Special service'

But he said wealthy Premiership clubs, such as Arsenal which has recently moved into a new stadium, should be made to pay more.

He said: "We actually say to those making a very large amount of money: 'This is a special service that must be paid for'."

Police forces are able to recover some of the costs incurred in the policing of football matches and other sports events but only for officers deployed within the grounds, not outside.

The Metropolitan Police recovered 2,079,310 from sports clubs in the financial year 2005/6, slightly less than the previous year 2,521,402.



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