Arsenal players and boss Arteta agree pay cut; Sheffield players defer wages - GulfToday

Arsenal players and boss Arteta agree pay cut; Sheffield players defer wages


Arsenal’s Mesut Özil heads a ball during amtach. File/ Reuters

Arsenal became the first Premier League club to agree a coronavirus pay cut with their players as manager Mikel Arteta and his stars slashed their wages by 12.5 percent on Monday.

After Southampton and West Ham announced wage deferral agreements with their players, Arsenal went one step further by securing the pay cut from Arteta and the first-team squad.

“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 support the club at this critical time,” Arsenal said in a statement.

“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.”

The pay deals come after a series of negotiations over the last two weeks amid a backdrop of criticism for Premier League players over their failure to agree quick wage cuts while some top-flight teams furloughed non-playing staff to save money.

The Premier League asked clubs to put a 30 percent pay cut to players, but the English Professional Footballers’ Association said that would affect tax contributions to the UK’s state-run National Health Service.

It was reported that Arsenal initially proposed a 12-month drop in salary for their players.

meanwhile, Sheffield United players will defer part of their wages until the end of 2020.

The Blades manager Chris Wilder, senior members of his coaching staff and chief executive Stephen Bettis have also agreed a wage deferral for six months.

Southampton and West Ham have agreed wage deferrals, while Arsenal became the first Premier League club to reach a deal on pay cuts with players taking 12.5 percent less for a year.

“It is a difficult period for everyone, but our football club also needs to be taken care of and I’m delighted that the players want to mirror the gesture of Chris and the staff by contributing, it confirms that they care about Sheffield United,” said Bettis in a club statement.

“The players should be commended, not only for this action, but also for their role in the #playerstogether initiative with other Premier League clubs.”

PlayersTogether is a charitable fund set up by Premier League players to generate funds for those working on the frontline in the fight against the pandemic.

Premier League chiefs believe the virus could cost them around £1 billion ($1.2 billion) if the season cannot be completed.

Premier League games are suspended indefinitely as the UK battles to bring the virus under control.

Should the season not be completed, United could be one of the sides to miss out as they were in contention to qualify for European football for the first time in their history.

In their first season back in the top flight, Wilder’s men sit seventh in the table, just two points behind Manchester United in fifth and with a game in hand over the Red Devils.

Sheffield United were also due to host Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Agence France-Presse

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