Raul Sanllehi tells Arsenal there will be no big-money signings in the next transfer window

Raul Sanllehi Arsenal Head of Football and Edu Arsenal's Technical Director
Sanllehi has told staff to forget expensive signings (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal chief Raul Sanllehi has warned staff to forget about any big-money signings because the club’s finances have been severely diminished by the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to reports.

The Covid-19 pandemic will have a devastating economic impact on football clubs up and down the country, with no matches played since mid-March and no announcement on when the action will resume.

To safeguard against the downturn, Arsenal became the first Premier League club to agree a 12.5 per cent pay cut for the majority of the first-team squad, while executives will face a 30% reduction in their salaries for the next 12 months.

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The Gunners have been linked with a £43.5million move for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, but may have to shelve any plans for mega-money transfers until their financial situation improves.

According to the Evening Standard, in a weekly video call with backroom staff lead by managing director Vinai Venkatesham and head of football Sanllehi, the former Barcelona chief admitted the club’s focus is not on expensive summer signings.

Top-flight teams are due to meet again on Friday to discuss when and how football could return and there is an acceptance that the remaining 92 fixtures will have to be played without any fans in stadiums.

On Wednesday, the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) predicted the north London club will register a £19m loss for the year ending May 2020 if the rest of Arsenal’s league games this season are played behind closed doors.

If the government decide that supporters are not allowed to attend sporting events for an even longer period, affecting the entirety of the 2020/21 campaign, the Gunners could be set to lose up to £144m over the next 12 months.

Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid
A move for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey could be put on hold (Picture: Getty Images)

A statement sent to AST members read: ‘The reduction in income from playing BCD for the rest of the season will knock £23m from available cash at the end of the season as will the absence of season ticket renewals (£70m).

‘The combined impact will leave little spare cash this summer, especially if sponsors withhold part of their advance payments for season 2020-21.

‘Arsenal’s available cash reserves heading into the summer of 2020-21 could be wiped out and a new borrowing requirement of over £50m being required by the end of July if the club is to meet its commitments to pay other clubs instalments due on player transfers and finance wages in June and July.

‘So we certainly don’t predict a big spending transfer window!’

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