Arsenal squad feel ‘betrayed’ and will speak to board after 55 members of staff are made redundant

Arsenal Training Emirates Stadium Open Day
The Gunners announced a massive wave of staff cuts on Wednesday (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal’s players reportedly feel ‘betrayed’ and will demand talks with the club’s hierarchy over the decision to make 55 members of staff redundant this week.

On Wednesday, Arsenal announced they needed to ‘reduce costs further to ensure we are operating in a sustainable and responsible way’ as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus crisis and would be proposing 55 redundancies.

Head of international scouting Francis Cagigao – who spotted the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin – is one of a number of high-profile figures who will be let go.

Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final
Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham made the decision over redundancies (Picture: Getty)

However, just a few moths ago Arsenal’s players agreed to a 12.5% pay cut on the understanding that it would preserve jobs for other staff.

Now The Athletic report that the squad feel ‘frustrated and disappointed’ with the decision to lay off a significant portion of the club’s staff, with several players looking to speak to the board over the decision.

One player who did not agree to a pay cut at the time was Mesut Ozil, who was ‘sceptical’ about the conditions and repercussions of the agreement.

The players are said to be ‘feeling betrayed’ by yesterday’s announcement, having hoped their own sacrifice back in April would have negated the need for so many staff members to lose their jobs.

Arsenal’s squad were one of very few Premier League clubs to agree to such a blanket wage cut, yet they are also the first to announce such sweeping staff cuts.

Mikel Arteta Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final
Arteta and the Arsenal squad agreed to pay cuts to prevent others losing their jobs (Picture: Getty)

In the statement Arsenal released on Wednesday, they confirmed their intention to ‘continue to invest in the team’ and their transfer budget is not believed to be affected.

It has also been suggested that the staff cuts are part of a wider restructuring of Arsenal behind-the-scenes, with Edu and Raul Sanllehi favouring contacts and agents over scouts and data.

The staff cuts will not impact on contract talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who is in line to earn £300,000-a-week – or the offer that has been presented to Chelsea free agent Willian.

MORE: Arsenal to sack international scouting chief Francis Cagigao as part of lay-offs

MORE: Arsenal to make 55 redundancies but claim investing in the team remains ‘key priority’

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