Arsenal players and coaching staff have agreed to take a voluntary 12.5 per cent pay cut to help support the club financially during the coronavirus crisis.
The Gunners became the first Premier League club to agree a coronavirus pay cut. The Reductions of total annual earnings by 12.5 per cent will come into effect this month, with the contractual paperwork being completed in the coming days.
Talks will continue on an individual basis with some players who have not agreed to the deal, but the vast majority of players have agreed.
The club said it was “based on the assumption we will finish the season 2019/20 and receive the full broadcasting revenues”. Arsenal’s statement outlined that the discussions had been “positive and constructive” and partly explained the deal’s structure.
The resulting savings will help cover some of the financial risks we have this season in relation to our matchday and commercial income.
“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.”
Chelsea’s players have indicated they would be willing to take a 10 per cent cut. Southampton and West Ham have agreed deferrals with their players and it remains to be seen whether Arsenal’s situation affects stances elsewhere in the division.
According to reports, Arsenal, whose yearly wage bill is around £230 million, will give players their money back in the event that they bridge an eight-point gap and qualify for the Champions League when football restarts.
Last week, Arsenal announced that their executive team, including the chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and the head of football Raul Sanllehi, would waive more than a third of their earnings over the next year.