Mesut Ozil has refused to join his teammates in taking a 12.5 per cent pay cut. He is the club’s highest earner on £350,000-a-week and the midfielder has made it clear he may be willing to do so in future but wanted to see the full financial impact of the coronavirus.
According to reports, Ozil is one of three players in the first team squad to turn down the pay cut. And he has made it clear he respects the decision of the other players – but has urged them to respect his.
Mesut Ozil’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut declined to comment on it but recently claimed that players should not accept pay cuts
Sogut said this month: “Deferral is an option but not to agree a cut today when the clubs may still make the same profit as last year.
“What the exact financial impact is on the clubs, we can see three to six months later – but we can’t see it today.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association has also said Premier League teams should only ask for deferrals.
Arsenal were contacted to comment on it but refused to discuss what they see as the players’ private business. The gunners have accepted a 12.5 per cent drop for 12 months until March next year.
However, Arsenal will pay back the money in full if they qualify for the UEFA Champions League either this campaign or the next and will also pay the players a £100,000 bonus.
Any player who is sold for a profit will have their money paid back. They will get 7.5 per cent back if they are able to reach the Europa League but nothing if they do not get into Europe.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta played a key role in talks with the players, his video conference call last Wednesday helping to convince the team that the club needed financial help.
Sogut, in an interview on the Steilcast podcast, added: “It is not enough for a club to present a proposal to one member of the first team squad and then asked them to go to the rest of the squad an get their consent to do it.
“That is not how individual contract negotiations should take place. “A club may even ask a first team manager to negotiate with players and this may influence some, particularly younger players or those on the fringe who fear there might be personal repercussions for him if he does not agree.
““In those circumstances it could be questionable that any consent from the players would be legally binding anyway as some players are not in a position to give true consent if they are under pressure to do so.”