Arsenal stars have rejected a 12.5 per cent pay cut across the next year in a vote on Monday afternoon. Players were asked to consider reducing their wages over the next 12 months after football was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis. ncentives on new contracts were offered as terms, with any deducted wages being added on top of a fresh salary agreement. Arsenal also offered to hand back the deducted money to any player who left for a transfer fee.
But the terms were unanimously rejected by players, with doubts over the summer transfer window and the long-term financial effects of the pandemic. Arsenal are now left footing an enormous wage bill that runs to £230 million each year. Players agreeing to the 12.5 per cent cut would have saved Arsenal more than £25m. Chiefs were willing to bring the figure down to 7.5 per cent if Arsenal qualified for the Europa League. And there was a full rebate on the cards if the Gunners secured Champions League qualification.
Mikel Arteta’s squad is currently five points and four places off Manchester United in fifth. That is set to be the final Champions League place with Manchester City facing a suspension from the competition. But Arsenal players were not keen on giving up their money in such an uncertain time. Indeed, the PFA previous advised footballers not to accept any wage cuts at all. Arsenal could now be forced to sell some of their biggest names this summer, with Mesut Ozil’s contract expiring in 2021. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s deal is also up next year, and it’s believed he is a £44m target for Real Madrid. Barcelona are also keen on the striker, who wants to play Champions League football in his final years.