Mesut Ozil is resisting Arsenal’s efforts to implement a squad-wide 12.5 per cent pay-cut.
Arsenal on Monday announced ‘a voluntary agreement with our first-team players, head coach and core coaching staff’ to cut salaries for a 12 month period.
However, there are as many as three players who are still to be totally convinced of the necessity to take total pay deductions, rather than deferrals, with Ozil understood to be one of those.
Mesut Ozil is resisting Arsenal’s efforts to implement a squad-wide 12.5 per cent pay-cut
ARSENAL’S TOP WEEKLY EARNERS
Mesut Ozil – £350,000
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – £200,000
Alexandre Lacazette – £180,000
Nicolas Pepe – £140,000
David Luiz – £125,000
Hector Bellerin – £110,000
Individual talks are set to continue with Ozil, the club’s highest earner on £350,000-a-week, who has made it clear he may be willing to take a pay-cut in the future but wants to be sure of the full financial impact of the coronavirus before making a full informed decision.
Ozil, it is understood, is open to accepting a deferral worth more than the 12.5 percent pay cut his team mates have taken. The Professional Footballers Association have advised players against taking cuts.
The German’s representative Dr Erkut Sogut declined to comment when contacted by Sportsmail last night.
Arsenal were also contacted for but refused to discuss the issue because they regard it as the players’ private business.
But speaking earlier this month Sogut said: ‘Deferral is an option but not to agree a cut today when the clubs may still make the same profit as last year.
Arsenal announced that their stars had accepted wage cuts amid the ongoing pandemic
‘What the exact financial impact is on the clubs, we can see three to six months later – but we can’t see it today.’
In announcing pay cuts on Monday, Arsenal have become the first club to agree total salary reductions, rather than deferrals.’
In an interview with the Athletic today, Sogut added: ‘It is not enough for a club to present a proposal to one member of the first team squad and then asked them to go to the rest of the squad an get their consent to do it. That is not how individual contract negotiations should take place.
‘A club may even ask a first team manager to negotiate with players and this may influence some, particularly younger players or those on the fringe who fear there might be personal repercussions for him if he does not agree.
Manager Mikel Arteta stressed to his players the importance of making sacrifices last week
‘In those circumstances it could be questionable that any consent from the players would be legally binding anyway as some players are not in a position to give true consent if they are under pressure to do so.’
Initially, as revealed by Sportsmail last Monday, players refused to accept pay cuts when presented with the proposal by the club’s PFA rep Hector Bellerin.
But manager Mikel Arteta, during talks with players last Wednesday, played a key role in sparking a change of heart in his squad.
Arsenal will repay the 12.5 percent losses back to the players in full if they qualify for the Champions League in the next two season.
Ozil signs his £350,000-a-week contract in January 2018 with former manager Arsene Wenger
Players will receive 7.5 per cent back if they reach the Europa League but will have to swallow the full 12.5 percent if they do not qualify for Europe.
‘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.
‘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.’