Arsenal have reaffirmed their commitment to completing the 2019/20 Premier League campaign. The Gunners have also confirmed discussions with the first-team squad over wage cut proposals, outlined their plans to pay casual staff in full until the end of May and detailed that they do not plan to utilise the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for non-playing staff.
Arsenal released a statement on Wednesday morning to outline the latest developments at the Emirates Stadium amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It comes following reports the first-team squad have rejected a proposed 12.5 per cent pay cut over the next 12 months as the club seeks to cut costs in order to lessen the impending financial damage.
Arsenal statement in full
We hope you are staying safe and looking after each other at this most difficult of times.
Everyone at Arsenal would like to send their heartfelt thanks to health professionals and key workers worldwide, who are working tirelessly to keep us safe and support us.
KEY STORY: Premier League season in fresh doubt as UEFA under pressure to cancel all European leagues
Arsenal released a statement on Wednesday morning
While the health and wellbeing of everyone is our primary concern at this time, we are of course fully focused on protecting our great football club and people from this crisis.
Every industry and organisation, including football and Arsenal, are directly impacted by the coronavirus. Some of our staff have had the virus, families and friends have fallen ill, and this is all underpinned by a feeling of uncertainty around exactly what will happen next.
The suspension of football and the broader global economic impact of the virus mean that many of our revenue streams are on hold or are at risk. We have always aimed to operate on the basis that the money we earn is reinvested in the team, the wider club and invested into our community. The potential impact on our revenue streams puts our operating model under pressure.
We know that this crisis will pass, and normality will resume, but timeframes cannot be known with any certainty. The potential financial impact is significant so we must be responsible and act now to best protect Arsenal from what might happen in the months ahead. What is clear is that this is one of the most challenging periods in our near 134-year history.
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WHAT ARE WE DOING?
Our owners, Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment, are fully committed to supporting Arsenal through this challenging time.
We are also carefully controlling our costs. We have stopped most capital spend, and our discretionary operating expenditure is being strictly controlled. Earlier this month, our executive team volunteered to waive more than a third of their earnings over the next 12 months.
We are hugely grateful for the support of our people. Their togetherness and resolve know no bounds, even though very many of them face the challenge of having no work to do while the season is suspended. We are fortunate to be able to count on their commitment and co-operation at this time.
We are in ongoing contact with our employees through video conferences, newsletters and team meetings. We have made it clear to them that we are not considering redundancies, and we are fully focussed on protecting their well-being, jobs and salaries. All our employees are receiving their full salaries and we plan to continue this. We are not currently intending to use the Government’s furlough scheme.
In addition to our employees, we are extending our commitment to pay casual workers on our payroll from the end of April to the end of May. For our matchday casual workers this means they will be paid for all four Premier League games that have been postponed and will be paid again should they work at these games once re-arranged.
We are also grateful to our commercial partners. Like Arsenal, many are facing significant issues due to the virus. Their continued support to Arsenal is very much appreciated and valued.
Arsenal have not played since beating West Ham in early March
Our players have been keeping very busy during this difficult period, working hard at home on both their fitness and tactical work while training is suspended. Over the past 10 days we have been in discussions with them around the potential financial challenges ahead, and how we are planning for those now. These are productive and ongoing conversations around how our players might support their club in an appropriate way. We have not and will not make any comment on this matter until these private discussions have concluded.
We know our millions of fans around the world are missing the game as much as we are. We will return to action in due course and that will be a memorable day. However, we know many of you are directly impacted in terms of health and financial uncertainty.
We are receiving many questions about the conclusion of this season and the start of next.
In relation to the current 2019/20 season, tickets held for postponed matches will be valid once these matches are re-arranged. Along with the Premier League, we are fully committed to concluding season 2019/20 as soon as it is safe to do so.
Arsenal’s executive team have agreed to waive more than a third of their earnings for the next year
If any matches are re-arranged with fans not in the stadium or any matches are cancelled entirely, those that have bought tickets for these games, whether as part of a season ticket or for an individual match, will be offered a credit for next season or a refund. Further details will be shared at the appropriate time.
At this stage we are not able to confirm when the General Admission Season Ticket renewal process for next season will start. Our Club Level renewal process, which started in early March, has had its deadline extended indefinitely. We will communicate more detail on both of these renewal processes, and their timings, as soon as is practical.
Our important work in the community, both locally and abroad, continues in these challenging times. Whether helping to deliver 15 tonnes of essential supplies in Islington, assisting the NHS, or helping those as far afield as Jordan and Indonesia via The Arsenal Foundation, we are working hard to support those in need.
We know that the Arsenal family will stay united throughout this global crisis. We will get through this and return to watching the game we all love as soon as it is safe to do so.
Take care and stay safe.