Arsenal players have yet to reach an agreement with the club over pay cuts, sources have told ESPN, with the first-team squad preferring a deferral of wages.
Arsenal captain and right-back Hector Bellerin is representing the players with the Gunners’ management, with both parties hoping to reach an agreement soon.
Arsenal have proposed a 12.5% pay-cut for its players. This reduction is for the next 12 months (April 2020 to March 2021). If the team makes it to the UEFA Champions League, the players will get can avoid the cut and get the money back. If they make the Europa League, the cut will go down to 7.5%. If they finish beyond 6th spot in Premier League this season, the players won’t get anything back.
However, the players, who are already involved in the “#PlayersTogether” initiative but still want to help their club, know that the Professional Footballers’ Association has advised them to take a deferral and not a pay cut.
Arsenal are currently at ninth in the Premier League, eight points clear from Chelsea, and four off fifth-place Manchester United. With ten games to go amid the suspension of the league due to the coronavirus outbreak, they need to depend on how others fare in rest of the season for qualifying in Champions League.
This proposal was put forward to the players with the explanation that “the club needs money,” according to sources, as missing out on the Champions League for the fourth season in a row would hit the club’s finances very hard, especially on top of the current loss of earnings due to the pandemic.
It is a tough situation for the north London club at the moment. With a loss of £27.1 million last year, Arsenal have to be cautious with their finances. Their wage bill of £230m a year is one of the highest in the Premier League and represents almost 60% of the club’s turnover. It is not sustainable unless the team can return to the Champions League, and Arsenal can receive the competition’s revenues.
For the moment, the club has not announced the use of the government furlough scheme for non-playing staff, which suggests an agreement with players is needed to resolve the matter.