Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta intervenes in pay cut dispute with players

Mikel Arteta is pictured before an Arsenal game
Arteta tried to resolve the stalemate (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta urged Arsenal players to accept a 12.5 per cent pay cut after the squad refused to agree to terms with the club last week.

There has been a stand-off ever since the players rejected the club’s salary reduction offer by the margin of one vote after the coronavirus outbreak forced football to go into shutdown.

Arsenal have asked their star players to take a cut for the next 12 months and the 12.5 per cent figure depends on whether they qualify for next season’s Champions League.

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The Athletic claim 13 players accepted the proposal while 14 rejected it and there had been no breakthroughs since that vote.

Arteta held a video conference call with his players on Wednesday night outlining his own thoughts and asking the nay sayers to reconsider their votes.

The Arsenal squad was then left to discuss the matter further, with Hector Bellerin – the squad’s Professional Footballers’ Association representative – leading the debate.

Bellerin is keen to reach a consensus and Arteta has told the players that although he wants them to accept the club’s offer, he will support any decision they make.

Hector Bellerin applauds the Arsenal supporters after a game
Bellerin is the players’ Professional Footballers’ Association rep (Picture: Visionhaus)

The players are believed to be concerned about taking a wage cut when it is still unclear what financial impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the club.

There are also questions about why the pay cut is over 12 months rather than just the months that football is on hold and why Arsenal’s players are being approached over a long-term salary reduction when other Premier League clubs are yet to discuss that prospect with their squads.

There is still no consensus among the squad and several players are feeling pressurised into accepting the pay cut without external representation.

After the players rejected the wage reduction last week, Arsenal’s executive team announced they would be taking a 30 per cent cut to their salaries for the next 12 months.

Arsenal have not played since 7 March and the 2019/20 season has been extended indefinitely due to the ongoing pandemic.

The hope is postponed games will be be played during the summer and players have been told to prepare for a return to training in May.

MORE: Arsenal players question Stan Kroenke amid pay cut stand-off

MORE: Arsenal tell players they can avoid salary cuts by qualifying for Champions League

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