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.
- 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.
ONTO REAL FOOTBALL NEWS.
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.
THANK YOU KIA.
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.