Arsenal in ‘productive’ talks with players over pay cuts as executives reduce wages

Arsenal in ‘productive’ talks with players over pay cuts as executives reduce wages

Arsenal remain in “productive and ongoing conversations” with the squad over alterations to pay amid the coronavirus pandemic while the club’s executive team have agreed to waive over a third of their wages in the next 12 months.

Reports suggested the Gunners’ playing staff had rejected an initial offer of a 12.5 per cent pay cut with the opportunity to claw some of that back through performance-based incentives.

An Arsenal statement did not offer specifics on talks but said discussions are still taking place in the hope of finding a resolution.

“Our players have been keeping very busy during this difficult period, working hard at home on both their fitness and tactical work while training is suspended,” the statement read.

“Over the past 10 days we have been in discussions with them around the potential financial challenges ahead, and how we are planning for those now.

“These are productive and ongoing conversations around how our players might support their club in an appropriate way. We have not and will not make any comment on this matter until these private discussions have concluded.”

However, Arsenal confirmed the club’s executives have agreed to a reduction in earnings.

The statement added: “Our owners, Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment, are fully committed to supporting Arsenal through this challenging time.

“We are also carefully controlling our costs. We have stopped most capital spend, and our discretionary operating expenditure is being strictly controlled. Earlier this month, our executive team volunteered to waive more than a third of their earnings over the next 12 months.”

Arsenal confirmed the club’s staff, including its casual workforce, are being paid in full and they will not be using the government’s furlough scheme, which is aimed at ensuring businesses can keep employees on the pay roll while income is severely reduced.

Premier League clubs signing up to the scheme for off-pitch employees while still paying players full salaries has been a cause of controversy in the United Kingdom. Liverpool, Tottenham and Bournemouth intended to make use of it before reversing their decision.

“All our employees are receiving their full salaries and we plan to continue this. We are not currently intending to use the government’s furlough scheme,” Arsenal said.

“In addition to our employees, we are extending our commitment to pay casual workers on our payroll from the end of April to the end of May. For our matchday casual workers this means they will be paid for all four Premier League games that have been postponed and will be paid again should they work at these games once re-arranged.”

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