Arsenal rule out furloughing staff as player pay cut talks continue

Arsenal will not be using the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme as “productive” pay discussions with players continue during “one of the most challenging periods in our near 134-year history”.

Tottenham and Bournemouth have recently followed Liverpool in reversing their controversial decisions to utilise the furlough system and Arsenal have said they will not use the scheme, while also extending casual employees’ pay until the end of May.

The club’s executive team have voluntarily waived more than a third of their earnings over the next year to cope with a challenging time that owners Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment “are fully committed to supporting Arsenal through”.

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A statement from the Gunners read: “The suspension of football and the broader global economic impact of the virus mean that many of our revenue streams are on hold or are at risk.

“We have always aimed to operate on the basis that the money we earn is reinvested in the team, the wider club and invested into our community.

“The potential impact on our revenue streams puts our operating model under pressure.

“We know that this crisis will pass, and normality will resume, but timeframes cannot be known with any certainty.

“The potential financial impact is significant so we must be responsible and act now to best protect Arsenal from what might happen in the months ahead.

“What is clear is that this is one of the most challenging periods in our near 134-year history.”

Arsenal have made it clear to employees through video conferences, newsletters and team meetings that they are “not considering redundancies”, with all employees receiving their full salaries.

The club intend to continue on that track and say they “are not currently intending to use the Government’s furlough scheme”.

The club is still working on an agreement with players. Arsenal’s squad this week reportedly rejected a 12.5 per cent pay cut for a year, with that money repaid if qualification was secured for next season’s Champions League.

“Over the past 10 days we have been in discussions with them around the potential financial challenges ahead, and how we are planning for those now,” the statement continued.


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