Arsenal FC’s first team players and its core coaching staff, including Mikel Arteta, have reached a ‘voluntary agreement’ to take a 12.5 per cent wage reduction due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The decision, which will come into effect this month, was made in order to stabilise the club’s finances due to limited revenue being available whilst the Premier League is suspended. It has also been revealed that if ‘specific targets’ are met, then the club will repay its staff and players agreed amounts.
An Arsenal spokesperson stated: “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.
“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.”
Arsenal’s wage reduction is significantly lower than the 30 per cent pay cut the Premier League asked its teams to make. However, the club is taking a smaller reduction based on the assumption that the 2019/20 season will be concluded and Arsenal’s broadcast revenue will be paid in full.
The pay cut by its players and staff will likely go towards covering the financial losses through its matchday and commercial income, with the Premier League expected to resume the season behind closed doors.
Arsenal concluded: “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.”
Southampton, Watford and West Ham have also agreed first-team squad wage deferrals as a variety of cost-cutting measures are being implemented whilst the football season is suspended.
Moreover, players have also united to support the NHS as well as its clubs with the #PlayersTogether scheme in which footballers donate funds to the health service.