• Premier League

Arsenal amend wage structure to lure 'top talent'

ESPN staff
June 7, 2012

Arsenal are set to restructure their wage bill to help manager Arsene Wenger land "top talent" in the transfer window, according to club chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

The move comes with one of Arsenal's top earners, Robin van Persie, who receives a reported £70,000 per week, holding negotiations over a new contract with the Gunners.

But fringe players such as Manuel Almunia and Marouane Chamakh are not far behind the star striker and earn weekly wages of between £50,000-£60,000-per-week, according to the Daily Mail.

Gazidis confirmed his intention to reshape the club's salary structure at an Arsenal Supporters Trust meeting and the Gunners are also expected to embark on a summer clear out in a bid to cut £23 million from the wage bill.

Gazidis said: "We have inefficiency of spending in our squad - but we are moving towards as efficient a model as possible.

"Our wage structure has been based around a flatter salary structure - that is part of a team ethos the manager develops, it's about interaction between players - not superstars.

"But we have looked at this carefully and we have to make adjustments for top talent. They are earning a lot of money and I don't think that will slow down. We have to adjust our model."

The Gunners have already signed a new striker in Lukas Podolski and Gazidis expects others to follow as they look to end a seven-year trophy drought at the Emirates.

"That is what this summer is about and that is what we are focused on for next year," Gazidis said.

"We have a good team, we have a good young core of players and we need everybody involved to have belief so that we can push forward into next year and make a run at the Premier League trophy and for the Champions League."

At the same meeting, Gazidis hinted that billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov will not be invited to join the board in the near future.

"When I arrived 3½ years ago there had been a lot of changes on the board and some degree of conflict," he noted. "Since then we have worked hard to ensure the board is unified and has a common purpose.

"In terms of further additions, it is important we don't disturb that unity and create conflict.

"Ultimately, that is a board decision but that will be the critical issue - are we all aligned and facing the same direction?"

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