COVID-19: Why Mesut Ozil Refused to Accept Pay Cut at Arsenal Despite Being Club’s Highest Earner

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Germany national team and Arsenal top-earner Mesut Ozil is among the three footballers at the North London club that has refused to accept a 12.5 per cent pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Recall that clubs in the Premier League have been negotiating with their players to accept a pay cut as a means to help the negative financial situation of the clubs since their major means of generating revenue (live matches) has been halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Arsenal football club was the first Premier League side to reach an agreement with their players and coaches for a 12.5 per cent pay cut.

However, Daily Mirror reported that though all the players and coaches at the club accepted the pay cut, Ozil who is the highest earner at the club was among three players who rejected the offer.

Ozil who joined Arsenal in 2013 earns £350,000 per week; he reportedly said that it didn’t want to hurriedly make a decision on accepting a reduction on his wages until he is able to see the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on the club.

He, however, allegedly noted that he has not ruled out the possibility of accepting the reduction in the future and that he respects the decision of his other teammates, they should also respect his.

Also, Ozil’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut was quoted as saying earlier in April that pay cut is optional “but not to agree on 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.”

Arsenal Says There Might be a Refund

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil

Meanwhile, Arsenal Football club issued a statement on Monday to describe how proud the club is with the players who have accepted the 12.5 % pay cut.

In the statement, the club said it would refund an agreed amount to the players and the coaches if, at the end of the season, the club meets certain financial targets.

“Reductions of total annual earnings by 12.5 per cent will come into effect this month (April), with the contractual paperwork being completed in the coming days”, the club’s statement said.

“If we meet specific targets in the seasons ahead, primarily linked to success on the pitch, the club will repay agreed amounts.

“We will be able to make those repayments as hitting these targets, which the players can directly influence, will mean our financial position will be stronger.

“The agreement is based on the assumption we will finish the season 2019/20 and receive the full broadcasting revenues. The resulting savings will help cover some of the financial risks we have this season in relation to our matchday and commercial income.”