Coronavirus: Arsenal confirm paycuts

An exterior view of the Emirates Stadium

An exterior view of the Emirates Stadium - Credit: PA

Arsenal have confirmed players and key staff will take a 12.5 per cent pay cut while football remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gunners have not played since their 1-0 win over West Ham on March 7, with head coach Mike Arteta testing positive for the virus days later and subsequently making a recovery.

The Premier League remain in talks about completing the 2019/20 season at some point this summer, but the UK remains in lockdown to slow the spread of the disease, which has claimed the lives of a total of 16,509 people in hospitals in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Players from across the Premier League clubs had already agreed to launch a new fund to directly raise money for the NHS and some clubs, including runaway leaders Liverpool and fierce rivals Tottenham, had backtracked over moves to use the government’s job retention scheme to furlough staff.

An Arsenal club statement said: “We are pleased to announce that we have reached a voluntary agreement with our first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff to help the club at this critical time.

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“The move follows positive and constructive discussions. 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 wll come into effect this month, with the contractual paperwork being completed in the coming days.

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

“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.”

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