Arsenal are set to become the first Premier League club to cut their players’ wages after outlining an ambitious Champions League pay proposal. Emirates Stadium bigwigs want their first-team squad to take a salary reduction to help the running over the club over the next 12 months.
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Arsenal have admitted they are facing “one of the most challenging periods in our near 134-year history” as a result of the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The Premier League club’s annual pay bill stands at £230million, which is higher than only eight clubs across Europe despite having not played in the Champions League since the 2016-17 season.
Another season outside of the competition is likely to wreak further financial havoc so measures are being brought in to lower their outgoings.
Earlier this week, Arsenal players rejected a proposal from the club’s hierarchy to take a 12.5 per cent cut to their salaries from April 2020 to March 2021
But, according to the Daily Mirror, they have now come to an agreement over those terms but only with a bonus structure built in.
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The players will be reimbursed their cash if they qualify for next season’s Champions League – plus a £100,000 bonus.
They are currently ninth in the Premier League table, five points off fifth place, which is likely to be enough to qualify if Manchester City’s ban is upheld.
A further incredible detail is the players will pocket a £500,000 bonus if they win the Champions League in 2021 – or £100,000 if they triumph in that year’s Europa League.
If they can only qualify for the second-tier competition next season then they would receive 7.5 per cent of their lost wages back.
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The Professional Footballers’ Association have recommended players not to agree to pay cuts and Arsenal players were initially confused as to why they were being asked to do that as opposed to a deferral.
Mikel Arteta personally intervened on Wednesday, holding a lengthy video call with his players in order to help find a resolution to the matter.
It appears Arteta’s address has convinced the majority of the squad to accept the cuts.
Arsenal recently announced their executives had agreed to slash their pay by a third for a year to help ease the club’s financial position.
They have guaranteed casual staff will be paid in full until the end of May while plans are not in place to access the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
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