Premier League clubs to pay £10m towards apprenticeship levy

Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal will all pay £1 million towards the apprenticeship levy when it is introduced next month

Will Martin

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Football clubs in the English Premier League will face a combined apprenticeship levy bill of almost £10 million, new figures show.

The analysis, carried out by communications consultancy Gerard Kelly & Partners (GKP), and based on current club wages, reveals that at least four clubs will be expected to pay fees of over £1 million when the apprenticeship levy is introduced across the country next month.

Manchester City – with a wage bill of £225,000,000 – will pay the most towards the apprenticeship levy, with some £1,125,000 in payments. Manchester United will be expected to pay £1,104,000, while London-based clubs Chelsea (£1,090,000) and Arsenal (£1,002,500) will also pay over the £1 million threshold.

League champions Leicester City will face an apprenticeship levy wage bill of £330,000 – about what the team’s star striker, Jamie Vardy, earns in one month – while Hull City, which sits at the bottom of the ‘Levy League’, will pay £125,000.

'Levy League'

Club Levy payment

Manchester City


Manchester United












West Ham United


Stoke City




Leicester City


West Bromwich




Swansea City


Crystal Palace










Hull City


As part of the analysis, the league’s traditional ‘Top 6’ clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – were asked if the had plans to reclaim the apprenticeship levy tax to recruit apprentices.

A spokesperson at Chelsea Football Club said: “We are working with the Skills Funding Agency and other relevant parties to explore how the levy can be spent in the most effective way.” At Manchester City, a spokesperson explained that the apprentice levy “will see a holistic approach to support individuals enhance their skill set and we will continue to explore opportunities and openings across the business.”

Simon Felstein, head of communications at Tottenham Hotspur, said the club was “committed to supporting local people in accessing apprenticeship and job opportunities that are being created through the new stadium development and wider regeneration of North Tottenham". So far, the club has created more than 200 apprenticeships as a result of the development of its new stadium.

Gerard Kelly, former editor of TES and a partner at GKP, said: “I wouldn’t have been too surprised to have heard that clubs were planning to roll out programmes gradually to ensure a successful implementation, but for many to still be such early explorative stages with partners suggests more could have been done by the Department for Education to communicate to all businesses the need to get themselves organised in time for the levy’s introduction.”

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Will Martin picture

Will Martin

Will is a junior reporter at TES

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