PLI and professional football

Sara Conroy explains why most members who work in men's professional football are not covered by CSP’s public liability insurance

Sara Conroy is a CSP professional adviser
Sara Conroy is a CSP professional adviser

Way back in 2015 the CSP ceased to provide professional liability insurance (PLI) for the treatment of professional footballers, including academy players engaged by clubs in the top two tiers of all UK and Worldwide Professional Football leagues. 

The huge sums of money in men’s professional football posed a significant risk to the viability of the CSP PLI scheme, which was designed to cover the ‘general’ medical malpractice risks of the majority of our members.

The majority of our members who work in professional football are employed by their club. The club is required by law to have sufficient indemnity in place to cover its obligations to its employees.

As such, physiotherapists are entitled to rely on the club’s corporate indemnity cover for their work carried out as an employee. Only where members are self-employed do they need to ensure that they have alternative PLI arrangements in place. 

To be clear the exclusion of male professional footballers outlined in our policy covers only male professional footballers. It is not relevant to any other sport nor is it relevant in women’s football. 

Much has changed in the world of professional football since the 2015 exclusion, most notably, the huge rise in popularity, status and money in the women’s game. 

However, despite this, the gulf between wages in the women’s and men’s games remains significant. A BBC study found Women’s Super League players earn on average £47,000 a year, while the average male wage in the Premier League is £60,000 – a week. The largest club revenue in the women’s game is £6m; in the men’s game this is a staggering £731m.

We continuously review what our insurance covers, ensuring our policy remains best value and meets member needs, and we have no plans to alter our position at this time. 

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