Arsenal’s playing staff have rejected proposals to cut their wages by 12.5 percent for 12 months as the club looks to cope with new financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Europe’s major leagues suspended play on or before March 13 in response to the threat of COVID-19, leading some clubs to worry about revenue the longer the crisis continues.
Sam Wallace and Mike McGrath of the Telegraph reported the squad failed to agree terms put to them on Monday and “did not get close” to the three-quarter majority needed from players to settle a deal.
The Mirror’s John Cross recently referred to reports regarding salary deductions and questioned whether the financial issues nodded to part of a larger problem at the Emirates Stadium:
It’s understood any deductions would be recovered in full if the club qualified for the UEFA Champions League, while the 12-month cut would drop to 7.5 percent if they secured a UEFA Europa League spot.
The Gunners sat ninth in the Premier League and five points off the top five when play was suspended. Mikel Arteta’s side are eight points off Chelsea in fourth, but fifth place could be enough for Champions League football if Manchester City are banned from Europe next season.
Arsenal’s offer is also said to have included clauses that any players who signed new contracts in future would be rebated the deducted amount. That would also be the case for players whose wages were reduced before they were sold by the club.
A squad salary reduction of 12.5 percent over 12 months equates to £25 million, but some have asked whether it’s necessary for a club whose owner, Stan Kroenke, is worth $10 billion, per Forbes.
Goal’s Charles Watts suggested earlier in April that club owners and large companies operating in England could do more to ease the strain during the pandemic:
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) previously critiqued the government’s suggestion that Premier League players should cut their wages by 30 percent.
Premier League players have since announced the #PlayersTogether initiative, a fund that allows them to donate directly to NHS charities with clarity regarding where their money is going, per the Liverpool Echo’s Kristan Heneage.