Arsenal plan to make 55 staff redundant because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Gunners’ first-team players and head coach Mikel Arteta agreed a 12.5% pay cut in April. Arsenal’s executive team also agreed to waive more than a third of their salaries over the next 12 months. However, the club say they now face “more significant and longer-lasting reductions in our revenue than we all hoped”.
Arsenal added they did not take the decision to propose redundancies “lightly” and had looked at “every aspect of the club and our expenditure before reaching this point”. “We know this is upsetting and difficult for our dedicated staff and our focus is on managing this as sensitively as possible,” the club concluded in a statement. The redundancies are in the football, commercial and administration departments, with the majority coming in the latter two. There will also be cuts to staff benefits, capital projects and discretionary projects, but investments will continue to be made in the playing staff and Arsenal’s transfer plans are unaffected. The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) said it is looking for more information from the club to explain the plans. In a statement, AST said it had hoped the players’ wages cuts “would be used to ensure all Arsenal staff are looked after in these difficult times”. It added that it would be contacting the club to make sure that the staff let go “are given as much support as possible”. Arsenal, who won a record 14th FA Cup against Chelsea on Saturday, cited the loss of revenue from fans likely not being able to return to Emirates Stadium for the start of the 2020-21 season and only in limited numbers after that. They said revenue from broadcasters, matchday and commercial activities had all been “hit severely” and that the club are facing one of the “most challenging periods” in their history. The statement said agreed wage cuts and investment from owner Stan Kroenke had helped “reduce the impact of the pandemic on the club” and “maintain investment in the team”. However, they added: “It is now clear that we must reduce our costs further to ensure we are operating in a sustainable and responsible way, and to enable us to continue to invest in the team.” The proposals will now enter a 30-day consultation period.