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Arsenal announce 55 staff redundancies

Premier League football club facing one of the most ‘challenging periods’ in its history

07 August, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Arsenal do not know when the stands will be full with fans again

ARSENAL has announced plans to make 55 staff redundant as the financial fallout from the coronavirus crisis continues.

First-team players and manager Mikel Arteta had already agreed a 12.5 per cent pay cut with the club, and the executive team of staff had also agreed to go without more than a third of their wages over the next year.

“Current indications are that we will not have fans back at Emirates Stadium for the start of next season and fans will only be able to return in limited numbers after that,” said the club’s head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham in a statement released on Wednesday.

“The global economic projections are also very negative. This will impact the disposable income of our fans, the money corporate clients have to spend on hospitality and sponsorship, and the ability for broadcasters to invest in TV rights.”

The statement said Arsenal’s sources of income had been “hit severely”, and that the club was facing one of the most “challenging periods” in its history.

It added: “We do not make these proposals lightly and have looked at every aspect of the club and our expenditure before reaching this point.

“We know this is upsetting and difficult for our dedicated staff and our focus is on managing this as sensitively as possible.”

While the football season was allowed to restart and Arsenal went on to win the FA Cup for the 14th time after the virus lockdown, games have been held behind locked doors.

Clubs in some other countries have begun trialling the return of spectators but only in limited numbers.

The proposals will now enter a 30-day consultation period.

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, a Gunners fan, said:  “A huge congratulations to Arsenal for winning the FA Cup and all the community in Islington has been buoyed by their success.”

He praised the club for its voluntary relief efforts during the Covid-19 crisis.

But he added: “I hope in the current situation that they would recognise that the club has many loyal staff, some of whom are not well paid.

“I hope that in the consultation process that follows today’s news they will be able to look at ways to protecting the jobs of everyone at the club and people that have served the club so well.”

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