Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and first-team squad agree on 12.5% pay cut

Premier League club reach voluntary agreement with staff 'to help support the club at this critical time'

Mikel Arteta. AFP
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Arsenal have reached an agreement with their first-team squad as well as manager Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff to accept a 12.5 per cent pay cut to help the club deal with the financial fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

The Gunners become the third Premier League club, following Southampton and West Ham United, to announce an agreement with their staff over wage deferrals.

Following "positive and constructive discussions", the North London club said they have reached a "voluntary agreement with our first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff to help support the club at this critical time".

"In these conversations there has been a clear appreciation of the gravity of the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a strong desire for players and staff to show their backing for the Arsenal family.

"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."

Arteta is said to have played an important part in persuading his staff to accept the 12.5 per cent pay cut after players and coaches rejected the club's initial proposal of a 12-month drop in salary for their players.

The Spaniard, who has recovered after contracting the virus in March, spoke to his 27-man squad in a video call on Wednesday.

He is said to have made it clear that he would not engage them in discussions about money normally, but in this case he wanted them to take a strong collective stance in supporting Arsenal through the unprecedented financial mayhem caused by the pandemic.

"If we meet specific targets in the seasons ahead, primarily linked to success on the pitch, the club will repay agreed amounts.

"We will be able to make those repayments as hitting these targets, which the players can directly influence, will mean our financial position will be stronger.

"The agreement is based on the assumption we will finish the season 2019/20 and receive the full broadcasting revenues.

"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."

Arsenal said last week they will not use the UK government's furlough scheme to pay employees during the coronavirus shutdown.

Fellow English clubs Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth, and Liverpool drew plenty of criticism for turning to the government scheme to help pay the wages of non-playing staff, although all three clubs have since reversed their decisions.