Arsenal became the first Premier League club on Monday to agree a pay cut with its players in response to the financial crisis gripping the game because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The agreement will see players accept a permanent 12.5% reduction in their wages for the next 12 months, although performance related bonuses offer them the chance to claw some of that money back.
However, not all the players agreed to the deal, with a small number of hold-outs, the most prominent of which is Mesut Ozil, the club’s highest earner, on £350,000 a week.
Reports suggest that he is willing to take a pay cut in theory, but wants to see the state of the club’s finances before agreeing to a reduction.
Negotiations are continuing, but the Ozil case highlights the difficulty of trying to negotiate collective deal when players are on individual contracts. There is also a deeper concern that footballers are being made to shoulder their share of the financial burden, whilst wealthy owners get away scot-free.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.