Arsenal have released a statement this afternoon confirming that the club have reached agreement with the playing staff over pay cuts.
The issue has been in the news for the last week and discussions over what is a complex issue have been ongoing.
Mikel Arteta himself became involved in negotiations, and he too will be subject to a reduction in salary along with the players, with cuts in place from this month onwards.
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.
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.
Reductions of total annual earnings by 12.5 per cent will come into effect this month, with the contractual paperwork being completed in the coming days. If we meet specific targets in the seasons ahead, primarily linked to success on the pitch, the club will repay agreed amounts. We will be able to make those repayments as hitting these targets, which the players can directly influence, will mean our financial position will be stronger.
The agreement is based on the assumption we will finish the season 2019/20 and receive the full broadcasting revenues. The resulting savings will help cover some of the financial risks we have this season in relation to our matchday and commercial income.
We are proud and grateful to our players and staff for pulling together to support our club, our people and our community in these unprecedented times which are some of the most challenging we have faced in our history.
With all the spotlight on footballers at this difficult time, it’s worth pointing out that the Arsenal squad are the first in the Premier League to agree to pay cuts.
Deferral agreements have been put in place at some other clubs, but until now no group of players had agreed to reductions in salary.
As yet it’s unclear when football will begin again, and revenue streams have dried up. Season tickets, match day revenue, broadcast revenue, corporate hospitality, and other money generators have been affected, putting real pressure on finances.
Owners KSE were reported to have provided a cash injection but Arseblog News understands the financial backing given is more closely related to underwriting existing bank/bondholder demands as you would expect from a business owner.
The players, meanwhile, having already contributed to the Players Together fund to raise money for NHS charities, as well as their individual good causes, have now taken cuts to help cash flow and to protect other jobs at the club.
Maybe Matt Hancock can now concentrate on getting proper PPE for NHS staff working tirelessly to combat Covid-19, instead of mouthing off about football players.