Gunners players, boss Arteta agree on coronavirus salary reduction

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Pay cut for Arsenal stars.

London, Tuesday 

Arsenal became the first English Premier League club to agree a coronavirus pay cut with their players as manager Mikel Arteta and his stars slashed their wages by 12.5 per cent on Monday.

After Southampton and West Ham announced wage deferral agreements with their players, Arsenal went one step further by securing the pay cut from Arteta and the first-team squad.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached a voluntary agreement with our first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff to help support the club at this critical time,” Arsenal said in a statement.

“The move follows positive and constructive discussions. In these conversations there has been a clear appreciation of the gravity of the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a strong desire for players and staff to show their backing for the Arsenal family.”

The pay deals come after a series of negotiations over the last two weeks amid a backdrop of criticism for Premier League players over their failure to agree quick wage cuts while some top-flight teams furloughed non-playing staff to save money.

The Premier League asked clubs to put a 30 percent pay cut to players, but the English Professional Footballers’ Association said that would affect tax contributions to the UK’s state-run National Health Service.

It was reported that Arsenal initially proposed a 12-month drop in salary for their players.

‘Financial risks’ 

After a muted response to their request, Arsenal were able to secure the agreement thanks to Arteta’s influence, according to reports.

Arteta, who has recovered after contracting the virus in March, spoke to his 27-man squad in a video call on Wednesday.

He is said to have made it clear that he would not engage them in discussions about money normally, but in this case he wanted them to take a strong collective stance in supporting Arsenal through the unprecedented financial mayhem caused by the pandemic.

There are reports that Arsenal, whose yearly wage bill is around £230 million (Sh28.6 billion), will give players their money back in the event that they bridge an eight-point gap and qualify for the Champions League when football restarts.   -AFP 

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