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Gunners hope to save £25m through player wage cuts

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Mikel Arteta’s side are ninth in the Premier league.  Photo: John Walton/PA Wire.

Mikel Arteta’s side are ninth in the Premier league. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire.

PA

Mikel Arteta’s side are ninth in the Premier league. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire.

Arsenal are looking to save around £25m (€28.5m) by cutting player wages if they do not qualify for next season's Champions League.

Talks are continuing between Arsenal executives and the first-team squad, who are believed to have been unconvinced by proposals of a pay cut, rather than a deferral. Arsenal have proposed that players will not have to take a pay cut as long as they qualify for next season's Champions League.

Arsenal's wage bill, which is around £230m (€262m), has been a drain on club finances since they fell out of Europe's top competition three years ago. Director Josh Kroenke described it last year as a "Champions League wage bill on a Europa League budget".

It is understood the proposed pay cuts for the players would shave around £25m off the annual wage bill, although the reductions would be less severe if Arsenal qualified for next season's Europa League.

Mikel Arteta's side are ninth in the Premier league, five points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and eight adrift of Chelsea in fourth.

Arsenal are trying to avoid following north London rivals Tottenham, who have faced heavy criticism for furloughing non-playing staff. The club have committed to paying their staff in full until the end of this month. Arsenal's latest accounts show they made a £27.1m loss last year, despite a rise in football revenue.

Last week, Southampton became the first Premier League club to reach an agreement with their players, who will defer 10 per cent of their salaries to ensure non-playing staff receive their full wages. West Ham United have followed suit. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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