During the off-season, Arsenal made the tough decision of proposing 55 redundancies to club employees on August 5, and Mikel Arteta has addressed the decision and his players reaction.
At the time it was explained in a joint statement from Raul Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham that although the call was not one the club wanted to make, it was necessary to ensure the Gunners are able to compete in a post-COVID world.
The decision was met with criticism among some parts of the fan base as the statement also outlined Arsenal’s aim to continue to invest in the playing squad despite these redundancies. Arteta was keen to outline he understood the frustrations when looking solely at the financial side of the issue.
“I understand when you’re only looking at the financial point of view, you can get some contradictory messages. But what is clear is that the club had a very thorough plan of how they need to restructure in order to function better and be more stable for the future,” he said ahead of the Community Shield.
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“They were very convincing with their argument that they gave to all of us that it was the right thing to do. Obviously it’s really sad, it was during the COVID period when we had to make a decision, to get our players to contribute to the pay cut one of the reasons was to maintain some of them [staff jobs].
“We’ve been trying to do the right thing and the club is trying to protect the future as much as possible.”
Another factor which raised eyebrows following the announcement on August 5 was that Arsenal players and coaches had agreed 12.5% pay cuts in April, specifically for the purpose of saving the jobs of non-playing staff.
Their FA Cup final win over Chelsea means the pay cuts of those who took them were dropped to 7.5%, but it was reported by The Athletic that…