Reports: Arsenal players to lose millions in bonuses if club fails to qualify for Champions League
This might be the first time in 20 years that Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League.
What’s the story
Arsenal football club is probably going through its worst phase since a lanky Frenchman took over the reins in 1996. Recent reports in the Daily Mail have revealed that club’s players might be deprived of bonuses worth millions if they fail to drag the club to at least a fourth-placed finish in the English Premier League.
Reportedly, some of the Arsenal players might also face a pay cut if the Gunners finish outside of top four.
If Arsenal fail to finish in the top four then this will be the first instance in 20 years where they’ll fail to make it to the Champions League. After a 10-2 hammering from Bayern Munich in the round-of-16 of the Champions League, finishing fourth or above in the league is the only way Arsenal can qualify for European football's biggest competition.
In case you didn’t know...
Qualifying for the Champions League gives a big financial boost to the club and one of the biggest reasons Arsene Wenger still has his job is his ability to make Arsenal qualify for Europe’s premier competition year in year out.
Though last year Arsenal’s cross town rivals Chelsea did not make it to the Champions League, none of their players incurred a pay cut or a loss of bonus.
The heart of the matter
If Arsenal fail to make it to the Champions League, they will lose out on the £46.7million they received from UEFA upon qualifying for the tournament last year. It is believed that the fact the club might lose on such a big sum, will result in players losing on bonuses.
This might be the first time in 20 years that Arsenal fail to finish in top four of the Premier League and as a result, miss out on a chance of qualifying for the Champions League. They are currently placed at fifth on the table, five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, with two games in hand.
Things do look gloomy for the North London-based club as a string of bad results has seen a set of fans turning on Wenger and asking him to step down from the managerial post. Players like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are also reportedly not happy with life at the Emirates and are looking for a move to greener pastures.
If the reports are to believed, with 12 games to go, players themselves need to up the ante and make the two games in hand count. The Gunners are up against West Bromwich Albion next in the league.
Players are as much responsible for the state of affairs at the club recently as Wenger and they need to face some of the flak as well. For everything that the Frenchman has done for the club, it is unfair that he is being labelled as the sole perpetrator.