Arsenal chiefs have asked their players to take pay cut following the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the Premier League season. They laid out to players that the club faces a “very grave situation” if the season cannot be completed or goes behind closed doors.
They want players to take a 12-month, 12.5 percent pay cut – starting this month and open to change depending on European competition in 2020/21 – amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It comes after the PFA told players to reject pay cuts, insisting that Premier League clubs should observe the 30 per cent deferral proposals agreed by the 20 clubs.
According to Mirror, players from every team have taken part in a WhatsApp group chat and have already helped set up the #PlayersTogether fund for NHS charities. But they have also insisted among themselves that they will stand firm to resist cuts.
Nevertheless, the Gunners have put forward plans to reduce wages of first-team stars for a year if they do not qualify for next season’s Champions League – starting this month, as players are paid in the final week of each month. Arsenal reported losses of £27.1million last year, and fear that figure could get far worse amid a wage bill of £230million per year and the possibility of the rest of this season being played behind closed doors.
Arsenal’s proposal Here is the five-point proposal sent to the players’ PFA representative, Hector Bellerin, by club bosses: 1. A 12.5 per cent pay cut for 12 months from April 2020 to March 2021 2. The full amount is then refunded if Arsenal qualify for the Champions League 3. If Arsenal do not qualify for the Champions League, no money is returned back 4.
If Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League, but qualify for the Europa League the cut becomes 7.5 per cent 5. If the season does not finish and/or Arsenal does not get full money from broadcasters then they will ask the players to find a “further solution” Players’ response With the Premier League suspended, Arsenal currently sit ninth in the table – eight points off the top four – and are out of the Europa League, which could have offered a back door route to European football’s premier club competition.
Mirror Sport understands Arsenal’s players have decided among themselves to reject the proposals. They are prepared to take a wage deferral – like both West Ham and Southampton have already agreed to. The club insist that negotiations are still ongoing.