Former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher and former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville slammed Arsenal star Mesut Ozil on Tuesday for refusing to accept the wage cut proposed by the Gunners for players and coaches owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Arsenal on Monday announced that they had reached an agreement with the players and the coaching staff on a 12.5 per cent pay cut for the next 12 months, making them the first Premier League club to make such an announcement. However, according to The Mirror, Ozil, who earns £350,000 a week, is among the three players who have refused to settle on the agreement.
“There are two strands of players who might not fully engage, and that’s a young lad who maybe didn’t have the revenue, or a player coming to the end of his contract. But the fact the highest-paid player hasn’t done it… the rest of the squad has agreed on it, you’ve got to go with the rest of the players. As you say, it’s a massive PR own goal,” Carragher told Sky Sports News.
Neville, meanwhile, called Ozil's action as indefensible. “The principle of not being together as a group is indefensible. You’re a team on and off the pitch,” he said.
“It just demonstrates the complexities of what is going on at Premier League clubs right now. Football is eating itself from the inside out. Most clubs, players, are not at war but they’re in a massive battle. The players don’t trust the clubs and this is just another example of it.”
Earlier this month, Ozil's agent Dr Erkut Sogut said: 'Deferral is an option but not to agree a cut today when the clubs may still make the same profit as last year.
'What the exact financial impact is on the clubs, we can see three to six months later - but we can't see it today.'