Arsenal’s first-team squad, manager Mikel Arteta and key coaching staff have agreed a 12.5 per cent pay cut to help the club deal with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
After fellow Premier League clubs Southampton and West Ham announced wage deferral agreements with their players, the Gunners have made a breakthrough with their squad.
Arsenal say 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” following “positive and constructive discussions”.
A statement from the north London club read: “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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and chief executive officer Stephen Bettis have agreed a deferral in wages and relevant bonus payments to ease the financial burden at this uncertain time.
The pair have been joined by senior coaching staff, who have also agreed to the deferrals for the next six months to assist United “with retaining staff and continuing to pay 100 per cent of their salaries during this difficult period”.
Blades boss Wilder said: “It is a difficult time for everyone and that includes football clubs and this particular measure is all about our football club.
“I’ve had similar experiences of cash flow problems at other clubs and I’m delighted that my staff have supported me in assisting our club in a small way.”
Chief executive Bettis added: “There is a long uncertain road ahead, but we remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure the stability of this great football club.
“I’d like to thank Chris and the senior coaching staff for being united in joining me in these short-term remuneration deferrals.”