Arsenal players and fans alike have been left “angry” after 55 staff at the club have been made redundant.
As reported by David Ornstein and @gunnerblog in The Athletic, there are two key factors that have left to the lay-offs, which make up 10% of the club’s total staff. “As well as the unfolding coronavirus crisis, Arsenal’s statement cited “investment in the team” as one of the primary factors in the decision. There is a fear that new signings and players agreeing future contract renewals may consequently appear responsible for the redundancies.”
Of those staff include Francis Cagigao, a world-renowned scout who has spent two decades at Arsenal and brought the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli to the club. Peter Clark (head of UK scouting) and Brian McDermott – both senior figures in Arsenal’s first-team scouting department – have both also lost their jobs, with Arsenal now favouring an “agent-led approach” from the likes of notorious super agent Kia Joorabchian.
An update from your club.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 5, 2020
The news comes off the back of Gunners’ players agreed a 12.5% wage cut in April after receiving assurance nobody at the club would lose jobs. The squad were reassured by Mikel Arteta previously that this wouldn’t happen, after the Gunners boss was told by higher-ups at the club that this wouldn’t happen. The players and staff have been done seriously dirty over these pay cuts.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are looking to sign Willian and give him a reported £10 million signing on bonus, with Joorabchian pulling the strings on the deal, just like he did with David Luiz.
Some fans have resorted to take it out on Mesut Ozil, who is widely reported to be on £350,000-per-week and not taken a pay cut on his deal like the majority of the other players at the club. Ozil is rapidly becoming seen as an outcast figure in the Arsenal set up, but he has been vindicated in his stance, having been “sceptical of the pay cut (as) more detail was required on the conditions and repercussions of such a decision”.
Too much emphasis is being put on him and not on the Arsenal ownership, which has caused many sturctual shake-ups in the Kroenke era. Many Arsenal fans are right to point out that this probably would never have happened during Arsene Wenger’s tenure at the club.Fans are of the opinion that the club is run by an owner – and agents – who don’t have the club’s best interests at heart.
The LA Rams, the team the Kroenkes own in America, have not yet made any cutbacks. Kroenke is well documented to place emphasis on the NFL side, but with a reported net worth of over £8 billion, serious questions need to be asked (yet again) towards the ownership of the club.
All things considered, this is massive own goal from Arsenal. Ian Wright said it best: “Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent!!!”