Mikel Arteta insists redundancies were required at Arsenal to protect the future of the club as he moved to defend the transfer business which followed the job cuts.
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Managing director Vinai Venkatesham and former head of football Raul Sanllehi announced on August 5 that Arsenal would be looking to make 55 redundancies as the financial damage suffered during the coronavirus pandemic came into effect.
The cuts came across all football departments as well as commercial and administrative roles.
The call to make such cuts was met with wide-ranging derision by supporters, with a change.org petition set up asking for the decision to be reversed.
Those who were upset by the news were only further agitated when the Gunners announced the signing of Willian on a big-money, three-year contract the following week.
Two more outlays are expected in the coming days as the club look set to announce a new and improved deal for captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the signing of Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes for a fee in the region of £22million.
But Arteta, whose side face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday having won a record 14th FA Cup on August 1, defended the club’s decision.
“I understand,” he replied when asked if he saw why such criticisms were being aimed at Arsenal.
“If you are only looking at the financial point of view you can get some contradictory messages.
“But what is very clear is that the club had a very thorough plan of how they needed to restructure in order to function better and be more stable for the future.
“They were very convincing with every argument they gave to all of us that it was the right thing to do.”