Arsenal are one of the select few clubs in the Premier League that didn’t automatically put their staff on furlough and promised to pay their salaries, part-time and full time, up until the 30th of April. However, that meant trimming the fat elsewhere and the first team agreed to a 12.5% pay cut (eventually), but three of them including Mesut Ozil are still yet to commit to the proposal.
Arsenal, like many of the Premier League clubs, are trying to rework their finances during the COVID-19 pandemic. With no idea of when or if the season will recommence, the North London club is looking to make savings where it can whilst keeping its employees in their posts and on a wage.
Mikel Arteta has already agreed to a salary reduction and chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and the head of football Raul Sanllehi are said to be willing to waive at least a third of their earnings over 12 months. This is all happening despite the disapproval of the Professional Footballers’ Association, who have recommended that players do not agree to the suggested league-wide 30 percent reduction.
So who are these three offending players? Does it matter? Not really.
The main problem is the instability in the dressing room that might now exist from three players not unifying with their colleagues and club. It could well be that those three players have ended their Arsenal careers and that they will be manipulated towards the exit door.
It’s said that high earner Mesut Ozil is one of the three refusing to take a cut. As a side note, it’s amazing how many negative stories are leaked on this particular player and I do not doubt that someone dropped his name into a media ear for malicious reasons.
Potentially, the three players in question will cause a rift similar to the one Arsenal suffered during the Sanchez fiasco, where the player was almost cut off from the group and had to mostly train on his own.
It’s clearly a situation that is gaining greater significance with fewer and fewer genuine football-related items to document but before you prematurely judge Mesut Ozil, by way of balance, it would be good to know that he donated £350,000 to 23 Brazilian children after the World Cup (2014).
That he is responsible for feeding 100,000 homeless people at 16 refugee camps in Turkey and Syria. He has donated £240,000 to fund operations for sick children in Brazil and he continues to work for the children’s charity ‘Rays of Sunshine’ and days before his wedding in 2019, he paid for a 1,000 children to have life-changing surgery. I wonder how many of his colleagues have done the same.