Execs take 33% pay decrease (for a year). Players need to step up.

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So it would seem that the Arsenal players still haven’t agreed to take a pay cut but the club has said talks have been ‘productive.’

Still not a good look.

For context.

  • Dortmund and Bayern players took a 20% pay cut by March 25th.
  • Juventus players agreed to shave £81m from their wage bill by March 29th.
  • Atleti players took a 70% pay cut by April 2nd.
  • Barca players took a 70% pay cut by March 30th.

Now, I do have to point out that the Spanish were able to enforce the cuts because there’s a law in Spain called an ERTE that can be enforced in an emergency. Regardless, it happened, no one is complaining.

Meanwhile, in England, the PFA is still dragging its feet. The Premier League players aren’t stepping up to the plate in many places. Hector Bellerin, who is the go-to for the squad, hasn’t managed to convince the players to do the right thing. I have no doubt he was one of the rumoured few that put his hand up for a cut, but the others aren’t so keen.

There could be a number of reasons.

Age: If you are 33, the chances you’d want to give up any cash right now are slim.

Contract length: If you are a poor performer on a HUGE salary, you’ll likely want to ride the cash/money train until it chugs to a halt.

Selfish: Everyone’s a socialist until someone comes for their portion. We saw this with Wenger when he oversaw a socialist wage structure… that had him as the highest-paid. Some players just won’t want to play ball.

Trust: Come on, the players read this daily, they know my views on Raul. They probably think he’s investing that 12.5% into a shipment of N95 masks he has earmarked for the NHS at a 40% mark-up. I understand that.

Shared pocket damage: Apparently the players were worried that the execs wouldn’t share the pain. I thought this was a bit of a silly worry. That concern has been alleviated via a .com press release.

“Over the past ten days we have been in discussions with them around the potential financial challenges ahead, and how we are planning for those now.

“These are productive and ongoing conversations around how our players might support their club in an appropriate way.”

“Our owners, Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment, are fully committed to supporting Arsenal through this challenging time.

“We are also carefully controlling our costs. We have stopped most capital spend, and our discretionary operating expenditure is being strictly controlled.

“Earlier this month, our executive team volunteered to waive more than a third of their earnings over the next 12 months.”

“In addition to our employees, we are extending our commitment to pay casual workers on our payroll from the end of April to the end of May.

“For our matchday casual workers this means they will be paid for all four Premier League games that have been postponed and will be paid again should they work at these games once re-arranged.”

The execs are taking a 33% cut to their salaries for A YEAR. That is a stinger of a cut. It also sets the tone.

All of the above is exactly how we all think when we’re hit in the pay-cheque… however, this is reality, the club is fucked financially short and long term, something has to give and the players should take the hit, which is minor compared to Europe.

There will come a point where there’s no choice, which means we’d be in a very dangerous situation and the club would be nearing bankruptcy.

Arsenal shouldn’t need to create a covid-19 business plan to get some sacrifice on the table. It is absolutely clear what is going on.

  • No fans through the gates
  • No fans buying shit
  • No football on the TV
  • Threats to sponsorships
  • Longterm concerns about how the game will come back

Arsenal players need to speed up this process. This is a real problem. A global one. It’s not the fault of the club. Players need to do their bit.


David Luiz has been on a bit of a press tour. I actually really like him, I didn’t think I’d ever read myself write that, but he seems like he’s been really good for the squad. He’s a huge character, a lot of fun and he’s obviously a legend.


Anyway, he had this to say about the evils of Arteta’s homework.

“We have been given assignments just like in school and at university,”

“I spent an hour and a half on a video call with Arteta, analysing games and training sessions from this season.

“‘Tell me about this game without watching it, David,’ he would say. Afterwards we would watch and see we were tying to do something good, but couldn’t execute it, or we thought it was bad, but in this case good.

“This discussion is good and will help us a lot in the future.”

One of the things that landed the manager the job at Arsenal was his ability to dazzle people with his technical know-how and actually make it interesting. Emery was a bore, flat ideas, with no idea how to transmit them effectively. It’s nice to know that Arteta seems to have the knack of communicating effectively with top talent.

Who knows how this work will impact the players when they come back to finish out the Premier League season, but at least the manager is keeping the players occupied with ideas and thoughts. It’s obviously something that was a struggle when the team was back-to-back with games.

Bigger concern is what the longterm looks like. Arsenal are going to be clobbered by corona regardless of what the next few months bring. I think we’re going to be in for a shock with the players we can keep. The wage bill is unsustainable anyway, now we’re living in a world where Havard University are saying we’ll need to socially distance for up to 18 months. Arsenal, and clubs up and down the country are going to have to control their costs. We’re going to lose big names. I suspect this is the excuse the club needed to go harder on a project youth approach. It’s lower risk, lower cost and would make sense now we have an elite coach.

I don’t envision a world where we keep players like Auba and Lacazette.

I could be wrong, but we’re going to need to attack that wage bill to bring it in line with a reality we’ve been living in for 3 years.

SCARY TIMES. The only thing that pulls me through this is all is that we won’t be alone. Everyone will pull in their belt buckles this summer. The pain will be shared. If anything, this might work out well for us, we can do in 3 months what might have taken three years. Trim the fat, get a decent plan for the future, put it all on the kids for the next couple of years.

Let me know what YOU think in the comments.



171 Responses to “Execs take 33% pay decrease (for a year). Players need to step up.”

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  1. andy1886

    On. the money there Tom. Expect little or no humility in Wenger’s musings in which I expect him to be quick to take credit and even quicker to deflect any blame. There will be plenty who will lap it up of course, bless them.

  2. Marc

    ” If there is something on the table I would be happy for us to rest him if the season resumes as our one asset being injured in a pointless season finale would be peak Arsenal.”

    If and it’s a big if the season resumes we’re 8 points off 4th, 10 matches remaining and a game in hand on most of those above us is hardly a pointless season finale.

    Dropping the only player we have who scores on anything even remotely like a regular basis would be madness.

  3. Tom

    F365 saying that Auba has asked to leave. Could be complete b*llocks but to be fair we may need the cash


    Let him.
    People thinking Auba’s going to pick up his scoring pace as soon as the game resumes might be in for a disappointment.
    There are few worse things for a goal scorer than a lengthy break from the game.

  4. andy1886

    Marc, seriously what chance would you put on us making the CL places? Just can’t see it myself. Best for everyone (bar the Scousers) is that the season get’s written off and we all start afresh when it’s possible to resume. Let the contracts end on June 30th, reset the squad and see if we can move on in a more sustainable fashion. Would love Stan to sell but it’s not a sellers market and he’ll wait until he can get top dollar again (regardless of any issues with the Rams’ stadium project).

  5. Marc


    I can’t see the PL writing off the season unless they have absolutely no choice (not something I agree with) the issue is how do you decide promotion, relegation and European places?

    Of course we might see them decide to cancel European competitions for a season to stop unnecessary international travel, that then makes the other issues easier to deal with.

  6. Tom

    Up until the covid19 outbreak I shared your position on retaining Auba but not now.
    If someone offered Arsenal good value for a 30 year old striker, who might not kick a competitive ball before he turns 31 or even 32, I would take it.

  7. G8

    Football/sports is dead until a cure/vaccine is available
    Too early to ease the lockdown measures in Europe, unless they already decided to not give a fuck anymore .
    Germany just reporting unprecedented 300 death in the last 24 hours.
    In case of trump he is definitely pushing that agenda despite opposition from some business cheifs and health experts.
    It’s like he has to open the country at all costs.
    Could be disastrous decision!

  8. G8

    City owners could be in deep fainancial trouble as oil prices ,business and tourism all severely affected by the covid crisis..
    Plus also Abudhbi government is involved in draining political regional conflicts and wars .
    Good for football if that type of ownership is halted!

  9. Tom

    Trump wants to open the country because the way he sees it there’s no downside to it, for him of course.
    On one hand he claims he has the total power to do anything he wants to -federalism be damn……..but on the other hand he refuses to take any responsibility for anything at all. I know, shocking.
    So, if the economy opens up and infection rates and deaths spike up,
    he can blame it on governors and individual states, which is what he’s done up to this point.

  10. Dissenter

    The decision to finish or cancel the season also depends on how other major European leagues handle theirs.

  11. Nelson

    I can see that the entertainment for the next generation will switch towards high tech, multi media and smart phone based. The popularity of football will decrease.

  12. Brad

    The future for this club is bleak, we’re set to lose our strike force in the summer at less than we paid for them. No funds to bring in a replacements of a decent calibre and we need to qualify for the champions league to make any money that isn’t the 24% of our revenue (Generated solely through match days)

  13. Henry Root

    If you don’t play next season and you don’t complete this you will lose gate receipts , TV income and sponsorship. Every club will be @ffected and the pyramid will collapse. Some of you really have no idea how serious this is and expect 5o be back to playing football in the autumn. Until there is a vaccine there won’t be any sport with audiences in stadiums.
    If you don’t have a season and can’t stabilise the situation forget ‘ I’d take £45 mill for Auba’ you won’t get anything like that . There will be few deals that aren’t loans .
    We need to remove the lockdown to get the economy going but sport will be a very low priority because of the potential for mass infection . If you don’t believe me read the piece in Sports Illustrated this week.
    A severe dose of reality is neede. Life without football seems incredible but I think it may be a year before we are playing again

  14. Valentin

    Germany and Denmark the two European countries with the fewer death per capita and closest to ease lockdown have decided that restarting their season in May is improbable.
    And in Germany, Clubs have already restarted collective training.
    Realistically the EPL will be lucky if UK is not still in partial lockdown at the beginning of June. To finish the season before 30th June is not realistic.
    Then you have the issues of liabilities. I doubt there will be an insurance company willing to insure clubs, players against COVID-19. The premiership could not afford the lawsuit if a player were to contract COVID-19 and die or suffer permanent medical damage.

    Even starting the new season may be seriously delayed. Most premiership clubs have still not agreed a mechanism for wage deferral or reduction. Contracts will need to be renegotiated. I can already see lawyers checking the small print of binding contracts to find loopholes. Most players will refuse to play if everything is not sorted first.

  15. Pedro

    Alex, totally incorrect.

    A good owners lets his football execs do their thing.

    Liverpool is not run out of Boston. United is not run out of Florida. Arsenal should not be run out of Delaware.

    The only thing you’ve had right about Stan is that he’s not overly interested (though his son is).

    He invested when you said he wouldn’t
    He kept our wage bill at Champions League levels
    He even let Raul borrow against this summer to gamble on CL
    He invested in the ideas of Gazidis

    The plan hasn’t worked. The intention though, since he binned Wenger, has been correct.

    No one wants an involved Stan. We just want competent people running the football and the team