At present players at the Emirates are paid relatively similar wages where a flat wage model is utilised to reflect the ‘ethos’ of the club. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal’s marquee player Robin van Persie is reportedly only earning £70,000 a week. A far-cry from other top players who play elsewhere.
It is quite clear the model is flawed when players such as the recently departed Manuel Almunia are reportedly getting forked out £60,000 a week, almost as much as Van Persie. Other examples of this include Moroccan Marouane Chamakh and Frenchman Sebastian Squillaci.
With a large amount of funds tied up in fringe players, it has also impacted on Arsenal’s ability to attract players where top talent will always have to take a potentially huge pay-cut to come to the Emirates instead of going elsewhere.
Gazidis is quoted as saying in an Arsenal Supporters Trust Meeting by the Daily Mail:
Arsenal’s squad been based around a flatter salary structure, and we are talking about having a relatively big squad with relatively few super-stars.
That is part of the team ethos Arsene Wenger develops – that it is about the interaction between players, not the super-star. That carries on into our wage structure.
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We have to make adjustments for the top talent as they are earning a lot of money and I don’t think that will slow down – under Financial Fair Play I think they will earn more and more.
We have to adjust our model but that won’t happen instantly. It takes time – three to four years – but we are conscious of that.
To say that this is a recent problem would be a blatent lie. Gooners have voiced their opinions over this problem for a long-time now and it seems that Arsenal have finally conceded that this type of wage structure simply doesn’t work in modern football.
Obviously the first call of action is to get rid of the players who are undeservedly earning too much of Arsenal’s funds, but this in itself could be a long-term problem. These players are not going to be getting a better deal elsewhere and no doubt some of them would like to see out their contracts.
The question now is whether Arsenal will have implemented this strategy too late. Without even worrying about the past seasons, could M’Vila have been signed earlier if funds weren’t tied up? Could the same be said of Van Persie? The possibilities hurt to think about, but it is good to finally see Arsenal addressing the problem.
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