As world football continues to grapple with COVID-19, even clubs at the top end are needing reducing expenses in order to maintain staff and salaries. Some clubs attempted furloughing employees while leaving player and coaching staff wages, which was met with fan backlash - before those decisions were reversed.
Clubs such as West Ham and Southampton have opted to defer payments for the time being, while Chelsea is reportedly discussing a 10% pay cut. You can expect over the next few weeks all the Premier League clubs will have official announcements about their plans to deal with the current financial implications of the coronavirus.
Yesterday, The Athletic’s David Ornstein broke that the majority of the squad had agree to a 12.5% pay cut for the next year. Any guesses as to the two players who reportedly failed to agree to these terms?
Arsenal squad told 25 of 27 agreed cuts up to 12.5% for 1yr. No min/max needed (#AFC wanted all for harmony/savings or at least majority) so will proceed to with whoever accepted. Possible statement later, more on @TheAthleticUK pod that’s out tomorrow: https://t.co/AXiyHbIKoN— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) April 20, 2020
Later in the day Arsenal released a formal statement including the following:
“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....Reductions of total annual earnings by 12.5 per cent will come into effect this month....If we meet specific targets in the seasons ahead, primarily linked to success on the pitch, the club will repay agreed amounts....The agreement is based on the assumption we will finish the season 2019/20 and receive the full broadcasting revenues.”
The primary ‘target’ the statement mentions is that Arsenal would need to qualify for the UEFA Champions League if the current season resumes. Something that continues to look very unlikely. Reports also indicate that if Arsenal can secure a spot in the Europa League they would only lose 7.5% of their annual wages.
Ultimately, it was important that the players and the club could reach an agreement like this to help keep the rest support staff on the payroll. An organization like Arsenal will be able to survive a difficult time like this, other clubs farther down the pyramid may not be so fortunate.