Arsenal players ‘absolutely right’ to refuse pay cut, says Stan Collymore

Former England forward Stan Collymore believes that Arsenal players are well within their rights to reject the club’s proposed wage cuts.

The Gunners are currently in a stand-off with their playing staff after they rejected a 12.5% pay cut worth £25m in total.

The proposal included a clause whereby the cuts would become wage deferrals only if Arsenal – currently ninth in the table – qualified for Europe next season.

Collymore believes that players’ contracts should be honoured regardless of where they finish in the Premier League, though he admitted that this off-pitch unity has not been mirrored on the field by Arsenal players for a number of years.

“If Arsenal’s players had shown in the Premier League these past five or six years the sort of fight they’re showing in their wage battle with the club then they might actually have won one,” Collymore wrote in his Mirror Sport column.

“They’re displaying Champions League-level unity in their discussions around potential wage cuts or deferrals, which isn’t something we’ve said about them on the pitch for some time.

“To be fair to them, though, they are absolutely right to say they won’t accept a pay cut that will only become a deferral if they qualify for Europe, because the club shouldn’t be moving the goalposts now on contracts that were signed in good faith.”

The former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool man insisted that he would have no problem in deferring wages if he had been asked to, but believes that clubs should not be asking their players to take wage cuts.

He added: “As I have said several times these past few weeks, if a club had come to me in my playing days and said, ‘Stan, these are exceptional circumstances and we need to defer your wages’, then I’d have had no problems in doing it providing I got what I’d signed up for at some point during my contract.

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