According to various reports, Arsenal’s players are set to become the first in the Premier League to accept a wage cut following negotiations with the club’s hierarchy on Wednesday evening.
It is reported that head coach Mikel Arteta and PFA representative Hector Bellerin played important roles in persuading the first team to sign-off on 12.5% cut that will last for 12 months.
According to the Mirror, there are a number of performance-related clauses in the deal which could lead to the players being fully reimbursed in the future.
- Qualification for next season’s Europa League will reduce the pay cut from 12.5% to 7.5%.
- Qualification for next season’s Champions League will secure a full rebate.
- Qualification for the 2021/22 Champions League will secure a full rebate.
- Players sold during this period for a profit will secure a full rebate.
Additional incentive clauses have also been arranged:
- If Arsenal qualify and win the 2020/21 Champions League each player will be eligible for £500,000 bonus.
- If Arsenal qualify and win the 2020/21 Europa League each player will be eligible for £100,000 bonus.
Earlier this week, Arsenal confirmed that the executive committee – believed to be as many as 14 members of staff – had taken 33% wage cuts for the next 12 months. The club also said they were not planning on making any redundancies and would be paying casual workers up until the end of May.
In addition to the arrangement with players, reports have surfaced this week that Stan Kroenke has guaranteed to pump millions of pounds into the club to take the edge off the financial repercussions of the ongoing coronavirus situation.
It seems unlikely that we’ll get official confirmation of any such arrangement but if true, it’s a welcome and timely proactive step on the part of our billionaire owner.
While the process has played out in the media and hasn’t been the smoothest – perhaps forgivable given the PFA’s stance on player wage cuts, the idiosyncrasies in player contracts and the logistical challenges posed by the current environment – it’s positive that a deal has been thrashed out.
Hopefully, player relationships with each other, the coaching staff and the board haven’t been too strained during this period. Here’s hoping they are able to get back to focusing on football soon.