A number of the Premier League’s leading clubs are at an impasse with their players over wage cuts – with fears agreements will not be reached set to be raised at Friday’s crunch meeting.
Whilst it has already been reported that both Arsenal and Tottenham are yet to agree reductions, Sportsmail can also disclose that officials at both Manchester City and Chelsea have also been unable to reach agreements.
The revelation that four of the top six – each in a relatively strong financial position – cannot get their players to help negate the devastating financial impact of the coronavirus crisis add to a what is already a substantial headache for the top flight and is one of a variety of troubling issues which will be discussed at the shareholders’ summit over conference call with the season already in chaos.
Pep Guardiola is thoroughly unimpressed with the attitude of some of his Man City players
Chelsea are another top-flight club who have been unable to agree wage cuts with their stars
As reported on Thursday, some clubs are expected to push for a June 30 cut-off point, with the growing feeling that the wage issue adds to a belief that the season simply cannot run into July.
The situation at the Etihad Stadium comes as a surprise. Last week, Sportsmail reported that officials at City were hopeful of an agreement with Pep Guardiola’s men and that talks were ‘at an advanced stage’.
However, it can be revealed that those talks have not progressed as the Premier League champions have wished. The Spaniard’s squad is now thought to be split on the matter with their manager – who was one of the first to take a cut – said to be left thoroughly unimpressed by the attitude of some.
City remain hopeful a deal can be struck. They have the support of key figures in the dressing room – thought to include Kevin De Bruyne – and Guardiola may well step in to steer them towards an agreement, which would more than likely be in the form of deferrals.
It is understood that City have support from key members of squad, including Kevin De Bruyne
It can also be reported that players at Chelsea are yet to agree an approach from the club’s hierarchy to defer. Talks remain ongoing – as they do at London neighbours Tottenham and Arsenal.
Spurs are hoping Monday’s U-turn over furloughing around 40 per cent of non-playing staff – a move that sparked outrage among certain members of the squad – will aid them as they seek cuts with caveats of around 30 per cent.
Manager Mikel Arteta spoke to his Arsenal squad on Wednesday night in an attempt to break the deadlock at the Emirates. A suggested cut of up to 12.5 per cent per month for a year based on whether they qualify for next season’s Champions League was narrowly defeated in a vote last weekend. Arsenal say discussions are ‘productive and ongoing’.
Arsenal’s squad spoke again on Wednesday night to try and come to an agreement on wages
Both Manchester United and Liverpool are yet to announce an agreement. United are monitoring the situation on a regular basis but are not yet thought to have made an approach to their players. Liverpool are thought to be in a similar position.
‘This all adds to the view that it will be impossible to finish the season should the delay go beyond the end of June,’ an official at one top Premier League club said.
‘The view is that if we can’t even get the players to agree a deferral, how on earth are we going to get those out of contract to extend? And if some of the biggest clubs can’t get their players to agree then what chance do the rest have?’
They also levelled criticism at the Professional Footballers’ Association. ‘The view held by many is that the PFA haven’t helped,’ they added. ‘You wonder if there may well be a backlash against the players and the PFA at some point.’