Mikel Arteta has insisted Arsenal’s players and staff fully understand what they were signing up for when they opted to take a pay cut during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The majority of players accepted a 10 percent pay cut, but Mesut Ozil was one of three players who did not. The midfielder later explained that it was because the players were not fully in the picture regarding the situation, and they were judged hastily.
IAM READY ⚽? #M1Ö #YaGunnersYa #teamtraining pic.twitter.com/uVbrjwQjJF
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 14, 2020
“We needed more information and many questions remained unanswered,” Ozil explained. “Everyone was fine with deferrals while there was a lot of uncertainty… and then cuts if needed, once the financial outlook became clearer. But we were taken into it without proper consultation.”
In August, Arsenal announced 55 redundancies.
“You have the right to know everything, where the money is going,” Ozil added. “But we didn’t get enough details, we just had to make a decision. It was too early and too much pressure for something so important.
“It wasn’t fair, especially for young guys, and I refused.
Nevermind… #M1Ö @Arsenal pic.twitter.com/WFmNoxpGBc
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) June 18, 2020
However, Arteta insists the players explained everything to him before making the decision.
“The club had a thorough plan of how they needed to restructure to be more stable for the future,” the Arsenal manager said. [via the Daily Mail]. “He was very persuasive with every argument he gave to all of us that it was the right thing to do.
“The players were happy to contribute to this difficult financial situation. It doesn’t mean you have a say in every decision the club makes after that. It can’t work like that. At the end of the day it’s nobody. There was no obligation, it was a choice whether you wanted to do it or not.
“We tried as human beings to help a club that has supported us for many years, in my case, and in other cases here, whether you’re injured, sick, performing or not. Stayed. We believe. It was the right thing to do.”