Chelsea set for wage agreement as Arsenal stars take 12.5% cut
Chelsea are in talks with their players over taking a pay cut of at least 10 per cent in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The suggestion of agreeing to wage cuts was initially rejected when discussed among Premier League players.
Sportsmail understands that Chelsea’s players are happy to take deferrals, but there is no consensus on cuts.
Some of Frank Lampard’s senior squad are coming round to the idea of the latter in order to help the club as a pay cut deal would save Chelsea up to £10million in wages.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are set to become the first Premier League club to agree to a pay cut, rather than deferrals.
Gunners players are ready to agree a 12.5 per cent pay cut after being offered a lucrative Champions League bonus plan.
Players will get their losses back if they qualify for next season’s Champions League — plus a £100,000 bonus. The club are also offering them £500,000 each if they win the Champions League in 2021 — or £100,000 each if they lift the Europa League trophy.
The 12.5 per cent reduction will be for an entire year, from April 2020 to March 2021. If the club qualify for the Europa League, the reduction will be lowered to 7.5 per cent.
As revealed by Sportsmail on Wednesday, manager Mikel Arteta held talks with his squad over the ongoing pay issue during which the Gunners boss is said to have stressed to players the importance of doing their part to help Arsenal survive the financial storm.
Arteta, it is understood, is ready to lead by example by taking a substantial pay cut and his players are now poised to follow suit.
At Chelsea, captain Cesar Azpilicueta is the main conduit between the squad and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy and sent out a group message to his team-mates proposing that they agree to a 10 per cent reduction.
Club chiefs were initially hoping a salary drop of up to 30 per cent would be possible, but are now preparing a compromise.
Chelsea have been proactive since the coronavirus outbreak and wage cuts would further underline the willingness to help across the club. Owner Roman Abramovich has been at the forefront of their efforts.
He has made the Millennium Hotel on their Stamford Bridge site available for NHS staff — and they are set to do the same with the Copthorne Hotel too.
Chelsea will continue to pay all casual staff during April and provide 78,000 meals to the NHS and charities to support the elderly and vulnerable.
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber says his squad want to help, but confessed that no agreement had been struck.
He said: ‘I understand it doesn’t look good, but it’s a lot more complicated than it might seem or than some people think it should be. I understand that and I think the players do as well.’
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom, meanwhile, has turned down numerous pay-cut offers from other staff members.Daily Mail