Gunner Thoughts

Arsenal Start the Week with a Statement

Today, Arsenal issued a statement that read:

“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.”

“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.

“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. ”

This paired with a David Ornstein tweet broke the news that Arsenal had reached an agreement in dramatic fashion after the intial 14v13 rejection last week.

Ornstein tweeted, that Arsenal were told 25 of 27 players accepted the 12.5% wage cut. His tweet suggests there was not a minimum or maximum needed, Arsenal were simply looking for a harmony or at least a majority. Since this was achieved, the club will commence with the having those that agreed to this sign first while they work with the remaining individuals who are not comfortable the deal offered.

Having this many additional players agree to the terms is simply additional praise for Arteta, after his intervention, and Hector Bellerin who has worked with both club and players during this time as the official PFA representative for the team.

As these players get ready to sign their agreement, they will become the first players in the Premiere League to agree to a cut and will potentially set a precedent for other clubs and players navigating their own situations.

With a restart date understandably being pushed back and the suggestion that it is unclear when matches will return, this could be only the beginning of measures the club is forced to take. While they have extended their promise of avoiding the furlough program, it was clearly said in a fashion that leaves wiggle room to change that in the future.

After news of executives taking a cut, we also received word that KSE promised an injection of cash. While many fans took this to mean funds for transfers, Arseblog News revealed today that their understanding is these funds are “…more closely related to underwriting existing bank/bondholder demands as you would expect from a business owner.”

Sorry to those that got an initial rush of excitement and starry-eyed at the prospect of Arsenal producing the £200M-window of their dreams this summer.

It is great to see the players and club moving forward positively after footballers have received such a large amount of scrutiny, bordering on abuse at times, in the last week. Hopefully this resolution will ease low-standing opinions some have on them – although I find it unlikely depending on who we are talking about. Sadiq Khan? Matt Hancock?

We are far from clear of this, but further progress is made. Hope everyone is still safe and well!

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