Arsenal’s players will be forced to take a reported 25 per cent pay cut if they make an unexpected drop into the Championship.
The Gunners are just four points off the relegation zone after a dismal start to the season in which they’ve won just four of their 14 matches.
While few would foresee them losing their top-flight status, Arsenal chiefs have still safeguarded the club’s best interest by inserting clauses into each player’s contract in the event of relegation.
It is normal for such clauses to be in place among clubs battling the drop, though Arsenal were deemed top four hopefuls rather than potential candidates to go down when the campaign began.
And should the unthinkable occur, their current squad would stand to lose out on a combined total of £37.5million in wages, according to The Mail.
While the club’s top earner Mesut Ozil (£350k p/w) is expected to depart on a free transfer in the summer, Arsenal would still have the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£300k p/w) and Willian (£200k p/w) on their books.
The road ahead is hardly straightforward for the Gunners, either, with Chelsea up next in the league before a difficult trip to Brighton, who are currently two points behind them on the table.
Mikel Arteta is coming under increasing pressure to turn his side’s form around with them languishing in 15th and just one win from their last 10.
But he made a confusing yet defiant statement in his press conference on Monday, suggesting his team’s results were merely down to a lack of fortune.
“Last year we won the game against Everton with a 25% chance of winning, you win 3-2,” Arteta said. “Last weekend, it was a 67% chance of winning, any Premier League game in history, and a 9% chance of losing, and you lose — 3% against Burnley and you lose, 7% against Spurs and you lose.
“There is something else apart from that. It is not just the performance on the pitch, it is something else that needs to go our way and at the moment it doesn’t.”
However, he did concede: “Saying that, it doesn’t care because you lose and the only thing that cares is that you lose a football match and this is what we hear.”