BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE – DOES THE END JUSTIFY THE MEANS? by Ken1945
With the debate about premier league footballers’ salaries and what should happen during this unprecedented time of the coronavirus, there have been accusations, proposals, counter proposals, predictions of one sort or another, the state of the game when it return,s and the feelings of the average supporter regarding the outcome of it all.
Let me make it clear and unequivocal, premier league footballers in general are overpaid performers, who have lost reality with the world of the average person. They have a wonderful life that most of us can only dream about and could, without any trouble at all, donate a year’s salary to any cause and still not affect that status.
I want to approach the subject from a different standpoint however and ask this question “what would it achieve, if the players of our club were to take a 25/30% pay cut and who would it benefit?
First of all, there is the moral view and I am 100% behind the belief that they should have acted from the very first day of the FA postponing football indefinitely. Make no mistake about that!!!
Now, if they had accepted the reported proposal that was put to them (12.5% cut), who would have benefited from that decision? As it is being reported, the club would have – meaning Kroenke, our billionaire owner. On top of this, it was alleged that further cuts would have been made if the club failed to qualify for either of the European competitions – further money that Kroenke would not have to find.
As far as I can tell, the census on here is that the fanbase is 100% behind getting rid of this absent owner by any means possible – so I cannot see why we should be making his present plight any more comfortable by insisting the players take a pay cut.
In fact, what they are doing, not deliberately I know, is ensuring that Kroenke is getting no assistance in his current situation – that of paying all of the direct staff their agreed salaries.
This will decrease his wealth across the board considerably, especially if you take his portfolio of sport ownership into consideration – the building of the new stadium for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers is estimated to be costing him an estimated $4,963 billion dollars and planning to be opened in July 2020…to what?!?!? At the moment, coronavirus is not allowing any kind of sport to be played, so it’s another drain on his billion-dollar empire.
So, where I am coming from on this, is I don’t want the players to take a wage cut of any kind whatsoever – HOLD ON – what I want them to do, is make contributions from their nett pay to help the NHS etc in its hour of need.
For those who want/need to know what each individual is giving back to our society, the players themselves can let us know what they are contributing and I expect it to be more than 12.5% of their gross salary – I would be looking at donations matching that of the Newcastle lad – 30% of said salary at least.
Now I am looking at a wider issue than the players, in as much as I want to see this man leave our club as soon as possible – they want to ensure that their contributions don’t go to him, but to the NHS etc – just by taking a wage cut, neither of these goals are obtainable.
It needs our players to start acting in a responsible way by, first of all, showing they care, then donating from their nett earnings, and let Kroenke decide if he can keep his investments afloat, or cut his costs and sell The Arsenal.
Kroenke’s estimated loss at The Arsenal is put at £74.8 million if the league is declared null and void, no wonder the club want to claw some reported 12.5% of players salary back into his coffers.
We have to remember that this pay cut, as it stands, benefits only one-person, Silent Stan – if he decides to use it to prop up the Los Angeles Rams, what is the point???
Perhaps some will view my idea of “skinning the rabbit” in a time of crisis to over the top, but we are where we are and if the final outcome is seeing Kroenke have to sell our club, why not???
Whether you agree or not, the time for our players to act is well gone – this should have been sorted weeks ago, unless they see it the same way I do and are not prepared to subsidise a multi- billionaire in any way.
This is my opinion also, why should the players take a 12.5% pay cut if Kroenke isn’t matching it out of his own pocket.
He doesn’t invest in the club already why should the players lose out
It was an interesting read and certainly a meaty topic to debate and for numerous reasons I would love to see the back of Kroenke at Arsenal.
People such as him will have created all sorts of ways of protecting their personal wealth. I read that his wife owns at least one of the franchises. He has probably tied up a large portion of his finances in this way so that would be difficult to prise away. I don’t know; it is just a guess. I was also reading that he borrowed over $700m to buy the club using $58m of his own money. Arsenal is worth over $2.2b now.
I have no problem with the players not wanting to line Kroenke’s fat pockets but I am just wondering if Arsenal is set up in such a way that SS doesn’t have to dig into his personal stash in times such as these.
I made a guess that by cutting wages the club would save £27m for the year. It is peanuts to him personally so there has to be another reason.
I would love to think that the players would consider putting that much money to good causes during this terrible time it is just, as you have stated, taken far too long to get to where we are now. It paints the players in a bad light when executives have already taken the plunge to assist the club at least a week ago.
SueP, I have this appetite of looking at the “other side” when the obvious way isn’t taken, just out of curiosity and then talk about it…if there is any justification in doing so.
As you say, kronkie will normally have ensured his investments are protected, but this virus has wreaked havoc that no one could have envisaged.
I have no idea how he is going to handle the issue of the new stadium in California, especially with the proposed ban on sport until 2021.
Ken@1845- I’m in total agreement with all you have written. By the players reducing ANY of their gross pay, this denies HMRC of needed revenue.
And, call me an optimist, but I’m positive the players will do the right thing. There are many issues with Tax, Contract, etc that could affect exactly how much should/could be paid, and I believe the PFA are right in getting involved to safeguard the hundreds of lower league players who will not be able to contribute.
Let’s have some faith, for the time being anyway, that the Arsenal players are simply understanding what loopholes need to be avoided before the agreement is reached. And if we do not hear the final details, I personally believe that THE ARSENAL WAY will be the best solution from everyone.
Ken a well written article which makes your point clearly and that point about us all wanting Kronke out is valid. On the general financial damage we could do to Kroenke – and his USA franchises being further damaged by the imbecile in the White House, who seems intent on prolonging this virus by his cavalier attitude to soon reopening their businesses enbloc, is a critical factor in ridding us of KROENKE.
To me KEN, there are two competing principles in this debate, as so often in life generally. Firstly, there is the need to fight against Trumpism and thus protect human life AND the economy(which is, in any case, always linked). Secondly, there is the natural urge to help do all we can to financially damage Kroenke and thus HOPE – for it can only be hope – that he is forced to sell Arsenal to a proper human, possibly Dangote.
Ultimately though, state governors of USA states have the final say on whether or not THEY vastly re-open businesses and NOT Trump. So the imbeciles possible damage to the USA economy and thus to Kroenke cannot be as catastrophic as we Gooners might wish; though it will still be massively damaging, as well as causing GOD KNOWS HOW MANY UNNECESSARY EXTRA DEATHS.
But to all those Gooners outside USA, we can only be onlookers and can have no real imput on what happens over there. I have long loathed the whole USA way of life and its general lack of soul, though I stress that is NOT inclusive of all those who fight against Trumpism and against retaining existing gun laws and other anti human laws.
So then KEN I admit to being torn. My heart is against allowing already disgustingly rich Prem players to get away with a one off payment enbloc to the NHS. Though laudable, by itself it is not nearly enough and will prove a cop out for some. If they accepted a permanent REGULAR DONATION FROM THEIR POST TAXED SALARY TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE NHS, I WOULD THINK DIFFERENTLY, BUT THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
I put the health of our world sport and its morality above my passionate desire to rid us of KROENKE.
So with a heavy heart, I have to on balance reject your well put argument, for the greater cause. It goes without saying that we all crave Kroenkes exit BUT there is no proof, but only a mere hope, that however much financial damage he gets, he will be forced to sell up.
LEFT UNCHECKED THOUGH, THE DECADES LONG GREED OF OUR PREM players, agents, hangers on etc will certainly kill our sport. We all have a massive opportunity NOW to regain some degree of ethics in our sport and I – though I speak ONLY for myself – cannot willingly let that pass by unused. I therefore still call for a massive and consistent reduction in ALL Prem players salaries and cannot see how this will be avoided ,TBH!
Jon, interesting to note that the Governor of California has said he doubts any large scale sporting events will not happen until early 2021 – that new stadium could become a real drain on his billions.
Still waiting for what the players agree to do and I believe they are taking their lead from the PFA, as Phil indicated – time for some action for sure.
We are not run by Kronk, he is the owner, we are run on a self financing model. If we are not run well we fail, we lose financial clout and we lose status. Kronks hit will only be financial on paper, ie the value of the club, none of the losses incured will come out of his own pocket. The fact that the players wont or are not taking a hit for the business means the club will suffer more than Kronk. In 5 years time when all these players have departed, wealthy men, they wont care two figs that this club will be financially hamstrung because they would do what all other employees have to do when their company is in trouble. If sacrifices aren’t made in any struggling business, it goes bust or suffers at the sharp end. The longer these mercenaries keep dragging this out the more they are dragging Arsenal football club into oblivion. The club and the fans will suffer, not the players or owner.
I have read here and on other Arsenal blogs for many years that Stan hasn’t invested his personal money on Arsenal and that Arsenal is operating on self sustaining model. We spend what we make and at this moment we are not making anything. Without the players agreeing to a reasonable pay cut, we might be in financial mess before everything normalize. The biggest loser here imo is the club and the fans. If we think our position on the table is bad now let’s see where we will be if we have little to nothing to spend. This pay cut is a must for these players,at least as gratitude for still being alive and earning. If they look around they will see a lot people who earn nothing and starving and if they still want to have the kind of lifestyle they live now in future they have to help the clubs and they put a lot more into NHS coffers from what is left. I have seen a lot of good stuff been written about Dangote here lately and if I must say I’m so glad and proud to come from this same country as he is and I will be so happy if one day he owns arsenal but that is only have the truth. I’m not someone that speaks ill of another man. There is no financial damage caused pandemic that will make Stan sell and if he does wish to sell which proper Human will still be rich enough to buy him out.
Yes what i was saying but you put it very well.
Mobella and Reggie, I am not arguing or disagreeing with you, every club and it’s fans are suffering (except Southampton, I believe).
Kronkie needs to protect his investments and one of those is The Arsenal, that is a no brainer, surely?
How can we be sure that the money any cut in wages agreed will go to the NHS? because that is what this is all about.
Ken, im sure the Kronk will protect his investment, that doesn’t mean the club and the fans will be left in a satisfactory state after.
Reggie,, how can we be sure that the money raised by any cut in salary goes to the NHS and not elsewhere?
Plus, was the club in a satisfactory state before the virus under kronkie?
This is an interesting concept. When my son went on a four day week with a review at the end of May due to his workplace possibly going under if he didn’t, no one suggested it was a ploy for the bosses to maintain their standard of living. It was done to save everyone in that office. Equally, my understanding is that Arsenal is run as a business too and if there is no money rolling in then it can only muddle through for so long before going bust. Tell me if I am off the chart muddled, but if Arsenal relies on being self sufficient and Kroenke doesn’t have to bail it out then aren’t the players doing themselves out of a job if changes are not made ? My genuine question is Arsenal a separate entity from Kroenke rather than his business?
Sue, Kronk is the owner, he owns Arsenal the asset. Arsenal will always have a value and he aquired it at a good price. If the business side gets a hammering from players not accepting the situation and income coming in being cut, the financial clout the club has, is reduced. The players can do a lot of damage to the financial side and the fall out wont affect them at all but it will the club in the future. I agree with all you have put.
Sorry Reggie but it clearly affects both the club and its self sustaining model AND Kroenke, whose money is largely invested in loss making sports clubs. So BOTH he and we will suffer. And Kroenkes financial state is relevant to us, as it just MAY,cause him to sell us, possibly to Dangote. But his financial state is certainly of keen relevance to AFC and us fans. That is surely obvious, I would have thought!
It is being reported that Stan plans an injection of cash to Arsenal soon. Is it personal money?-inquiring minds want to know.
At the moment Arsenal have no income, but loads of expenditure, mainly salaries. Obviously this situation is only possible as long as there is cash to sustain it, or if banks can be persuaded to finance it on a temporary basis.
It is very simple, if the situation doesn’t change, Arsenal will go under. It is this situation the management will have to avoid by cutting salaries as soon as possible. Preferably through an agreement with the players, but ultimately maybe it will be done without an agreement, if that is the only way to survive.
As I understand the article, the theory should be, the nearer we get to going under, the more likely Kroenke is to selling.
Sounds like very risky business to me. Who will buy? Will the new owner, who in this situation has bought Arsenal at a “supposedly cut-price” neccessarily deviate from the self sustaining model, that we have now? A model, that by the way, is the way something like 90% of clubs are run. Only Man City and Chelsea (if they in fact still are) are not.
I find it most likely professional football will have to do with less overall income in the coming years. How much less, of course depends on how severe the economic crisis will be worldwide, not just in the UK and in the USA.
This will mean footballers will have to be paid less in the future. Simple market mechanisms.
Suggesting footballers should go down in salary and the difference going to NHS is not a real option in itself. Footballers will go down in salary because the clubs can’t pay as much in the future. Giving part of players salaries to NHS may be a moral thing to do, but it still will have to be ut of a smaller salary.
If Kronke is a billionaire, does it mean that he is not affected when Arsenal is not playing? Did Kronke build his empire through Arsenal? This article is written by a person who’s got hate for Kronke or he doesn’t understand economics. How can Kronke pay full salaries to players who doesn’t care about Arsenal? How can Arsenal generate income when players are sitting at home? Are Arsenal players special? Sitting at no.11 on the log, they want full wages?
Barcelona players receive pay cuts of up to 70%. This is not Kronke’s problem, players and owners should compromise