Arsenal are set to make 55 redundancies among club staff in an effort to “take the club forwards” from the coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint-statement by the club’s head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham, the club said it had been badly affected by the loss in broadcast revenues and matchday income during lockdown.
“The pandemic represents one of the most challenging periods in our 134-year history and we have responded promptly by implementing wide-ranging measures to reduce our costs,” they said. “Our players, senior football staff and executive team have volunteered pay cuts, we have stopped pretty much all of our capital spending, and our discretionary operating expenditure has been strictly controlled.
“We have also received significant financial support from our owners, Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment in terms of refinancing our stadium debt.”
However, the club said they had major concerns over the long-term outlook, with the Emirates Stadium unlikely to be anywhere near full for the foreseeable future.a
“It is now clear that we will be facing more significant and longer-lasting reductions in our revenue than we all hoped. 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. The global economic projections are also very negative.”
They added: “Our aim has been to protect the jobs and base salaries of our people for as long as we possibly can. Unfortunately, we have now come to the point where we are proposing 55 redundancies.
“We do not make these proposals lightly and have looked at every aspect of the club and our expenditure before reaching this point. We are now entering the required 30-day consultation period on these proposals.
“We know this is upsetting and difficult for our dedicated staff and our focus is on managing this as sensitively as possible.”
The statement said the proposal was made to ensure ”we have the resources to return to competing effectively at the top of the game here and in Europe”.
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