YOUNGER members of the Arsenal squad “felt pressured” to take pay cut, according to reports.
The Gunners had been keen to reach an agreement with their players and staff to cover losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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And 25 of the 27 squad members agreed to take a 12.5 per cent hit, as well as boss Mikel Arteta and “core” coaching staff.
But ESPN have claimed some of the more junior players at London Colney felt they had little choice in the matter.
The report does not say which players are said to have felt “pressured”.
Mesut Ozil, the club’s top-earner at £350,000 a week, is one of the players to have rejected the deal.
But Ozil is now said to be willing to agree to a pay-cut, provided he is given assurances as to the club’s financial plans, as he fears the decision has been rushed.
Charitable Ozil is also said to be happy to give up more than 12.5 per cent, assuming talks with Arsenal officials go smoothly.
Arsenal’s deal with players is laid out so they will have their cut wages repaid if they qualify for next season’s Champions League.
And they will receive £500,000 each if they win the Champions League in 2021 as further incentive.
Earlier this week, an Arsenal statement read: “We are pleased to announce that we have reached a voluntary agreement with our first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff to help support the club at this critical time.
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“The move follows positive and constructive discussions.
“In these conversations there has been a clear appreciation of the gravity of the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a strong desire for players and staff to show their backing for the Arsenal family.
“Reductions of total annual earnings by 12.5 per cent will come into effect this month, with the contractual paperwork being completed in the coming days.”