David Ornstein and The Athletic have just confirmed that the majority of Arsenal’s squad is set to accept 12.5% cuts in monthly wages for the “next year”. Arsenal would become the first Premier League club to implement such a change in order to cover financial losses resulting from the current pandemic.
According to previous reports, the players had been asked to reply on WhatsApp over the weekend about whether or not they would be in favour of such a move, with 14 out of 27 players opting against it. The players preferred to defer wages rather than accept cuts.
However, Arteta is believed to have made a “crucial intervention” in his conversation with the players that has led to this new development.
“The head coach’s involvement on Wednesday night is understood to have been vital to getting the deal over the line, with one source describing the head coach as an “extraordinary man”. It appears the 38-year-old managed to strike the very delicate balance between promising his players he would back them, whatever they decided, and supporting the club at which he has only been in charge since December.”David Ornstein, The Athletic
Furthermore, it is believed that Hector Bellerin has acted as an intermediary and sent the intitial proposal to the squad, being the club’s Professional Footballers’ Association representative. Other options, including donating a month’s earnings to the club’s non-playing staff, were also reviewed.
It remains to be seen whether or not other clubs will follow suit or opt to defer wages instead. However, this development will surely set a good example moving forward for decision-makers who are working hard to address the many complications that COVID-19 has introduced to the world of football.
Header photo: joshjdss, 2015