Vinai Venkatesham: Arsenal chief executive says he had sleepless nights over redundancies

Vinai Venkatesham (right) watched his Arsenal side win the FA Cup for a 14th time against Chelsea

Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham says he has had sleepless nights over recent staff redundancies.

The club were criticised for buying players shortly after announcing 55 redundancies – mainly affecting the commercial and administrative departments – on 5 August.

Senior staff, including manager Mikel Arteta and his players, took pay cuts.

“I would be lying if I said there had not been sleepless nights,” Venkatesham said.

Nine days after announcing the redundancies, Arsenal signed Willian on a three-year deal from Chelsea, before paying Lille £23.14m for Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes at the beginning of September.

But Venkatesham indicated that top-level clubs are facing financial uncertainty even as they invest in players.

The European Clubs’ Association – which represents professional clubs across Uefa’s jurisdiction – has estimated this week that the overall losses being borne by their members will be around £3.7bn.

And Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has said in recent days that English top-flight clubs faced losing £700m if fans were not allowed into…