Arsenal players have reportedly turned down a request from the club to take a 12.5% paycut as the players worry the club are using the pandemic to cut their over-inflated wage bill.

Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang speak in the foreground, with Catalin Cirjan behind them. Triallist Tyger Smalls walks away in the background (Photo via Tyger Smalls on Twitter)
Mikel Arteta and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang speak in the foreground, with Catalin Cirjan behind them. Triallist Tyger Smalls walks away in the background (Photo via Tyger Smalls on Twitter)

The players, however, have made it clear they are prepared to take a wage deferral, but only if that money is used to pay non-playing staff.

Over the weekend it was reported that Arsenal were trying to negotiate a pay cut with their players, depending on whether they qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season.

The Gunners rely quite heavily on matchday revenue, which is obviously non-existent right now, so they’re hoping the squad will help out.

The Telegraph claimed part of Arsenal’s current proposal involves Champions League qualification. They suggested that any pay cut the players take would no longer apply if the club made it back into Europe’s premium competition.

That makes sense because if Arsenal did qualify, that would cover their losses from the current situation anyway.

Unfortunately, it’s proving a ‘non-starter’ with many of the squad. Perhaps because they don’t believe Arsenal will make it, or they don’t want to take the risk, or they feel they’re already doing their part with the #PlayersTogether initiative. They also reportedly fear the club are trying to cut salaries permanently through the backdoor.

Whatever the case may be, it’s going to make things very difficult if the club don’t make it back into Europe.

Another potential money-making option also disappeared this week, as the International Champions Cup organisers called off their pre-season tournament.

In their Monday edition, the Daily Mail write, “Arsenal stars will reject the club’s wage reduction proposals after they were asked to accept pay cuts rather than deferrals. the Gunners want their squad to take a cut, believed to be in the region of 12.5 per cent, for a 12-month period starting from this month. the club have offered to reimburse players the full amount if they qualify for next season’s Champions League — an unlikely scenario given they are eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea. the proposed pay cut would be reduced to around 7.5 per cent if Arsenal qualify for next season’s Europa League.

Arsenal stars reject pay-cut Daily Mail 13 April 2020, page 64
Daily Mail 13 April 2020, page 64

“However, if Arsenal miss out on European football altogether, the club have proposed the players accept the full 12.5 per cent salary reduction. the players, though, will flatly reject the proposal. they are unwilling to consider straight pay cuts but are ready to listen to deferral offers. Southampton and West Ham are the only clubs to have settled on wage reductions with their players. the Saints have agreed a 10 per cent deferral for three months, while the Hammers’ top earners will take close to 30 per cent deferrals for five months.

“Arsenal players’ contracts are already heavily loaded towards regaining entry to the Champions League. With the club unlikely to qualify for UEFA’s premier club competition next season, players already face missing out on significant cash and are not fond of the club’s proposals.”

Previous articlePremier League order BT Sport and Sky Sports not to ask about crisis
Next articleLee Dixon sends message to NHS staff
Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.