Watford Football Club is being urged to follow in the footsteps of other Premier League teams by paying its employees the real Living Wage.

The Watford Young Greens are petitioning the club to become an accredited Living Wage employer, saying it was “disgraceful” that top stars earned in excess of £40,000 a week while other employees were not paid the Living Wage.

The Living wage is a voluntary hourly rate set independently and updated annually, calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

The current real Living Wage outside London is £8.25 an hour.

Alex Murray, local Green Party campaigner and football fan, said: “It is disgraceful that players in the Premier League earn an average of £44,000 a week, while someone on the minimum wage would have to work three years to earn as much.

Watford FC’s failure to pay the real Living Wage contributes to the five million people in the UK who can’t afford the basic cost of living. No one should have to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.

“We urge Watford FC to follow the example of other football clubs and become responsible employers by paying the Living Wage. This would entitle all staff to a decent wage.”

There are already several Premier League clubs, such as Manchester United and Chelsea, leading the way by paying their employees the real Living Wage.

The Watford Young Greens said their commitment to a responsible wage shows that clubs of all sizes - whether Premier League giants or lower league teams - can find the balance to obtain on the pitch success as well as paying their staff a wage suitable for them to live on.

If you would like to sign the petition, visit https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/watford-fc-to-pay-the-living-wage

Watford FC has been contacted for comment.