The Gunners had been in negotiations with their squad for some time, and the vast majority have now accepted the club’s proposal

ARSENAL first-team players and head coach Mikel Arteta have reached a “voluntary agreement” to take a pay cut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Core coaching staff have also agreed to take the hit to their wages, which sees those involved have their annual earnings reduced by 12.5 per cent.

An Arsenal statement read: “In these conversations there has been a clear appreciation of the gravity of the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a strong desire for players and staff to show their backing for the Arsenal family. 

“Reductions of total annual earnings by 12.5 per cent will come into effect this month, with the contractual paperwork being completed in the coming days.

“If we meet specific targets in the seasons ahead, primarily linked to success on the pitch, the club will repay agreed amounts.

“We will be able to make those repayments as hitting these targets, which the players can directly influence, will mean our financial position will be stronger.

“The agreement is based on the assumption we will finish the 2019/20 season and receive the full broadcasting revenues.

“The resulting savings will help cover some of the financial risks we have this season in relation to our matchday and commercial income.

“We are proud and grateful to our players and staff for pulling together to support our club, our people and our community in these unprecedented times which are some of the most challenging we have faced in our history.”

Arsenal are not the first Premier League club to take such action, with Southampton and West Ham having also agreed wage deferrals with their first-team squads.

Source: Arsenal website