How is a football club related to its community? Should it offer anything beyond match tickets and merchandise?
For example, do fans care about how their club acts as an employer? Should they care?
I ask because my team – Ipswich Town – has a pretty – how can I put this? – hard nosed attitude to employment.
Earlier this year it advertised for 2 unpaid interns to video and produce statistical analysis of matches.
This week it was looking for a store assistant at the club shop, Planet Blue (image of the advert). The position has no guaranteed hours, while the applicant is expected to be available for work 6 days a week.
Ipswich Town’s owner is the Marcus Evans Group, which has an annual turnover of more than £110m.
Like all football clubs, Ipswich Town has a presence in the community. The players are stars, and it’s good PR when they attend events.
But what about its ethical responsibility? Is it ‘unethical’ – and does it matter – if Ipswich Town offers unpaid work, zero hour contracts and makes staff redundant in order to run a minimal ticket office service?