HomePREMIER LEAGUEControversial Arsenal contract clauses demonstrate how much has changed since Mikel Arteta...

Controversial Arsenal contract clauses demonstrate how much has changed since Mikel Arteta took over.

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Controversial Arsenal contract clauses demonstrate how much has changed since Mikel Arteta took over.

This season, Arsenal has stormed to the top of the Premier League table.

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Arsenal are on course to win their first Premier League title since the Invincibles won the title without losing a single game in 2003/04. The Gunners currently lead the Premier League table by eight points, eight points clear of second-place Manchester City. But they weren’t always so aloft under Mikel Arteta. In fact, controversial clauses that were routinely inserted in players’ contracts as recently as two years ago now appear completely ridiculous.

Arsenal has 10 games left to collect the points needed to secure the title. However, the Gunners were languishing in 15th place in the table in December 2020, having won only four of their first 14 matches of the season. Arteta’s team was only four points above the relegation zone, and there were genuine fears that they would be relegated.

According to The Mirror, such was the concern at the Emirates Stadium that club executives decided to insert clauses into players’ contracts that would result in a 25% pay cut if they were relegated to the Championship.

At the time, players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian earned £300,000 and £200,000 per week, respectively. And Arsenal executives wanted to protect the club’s best interests. The clauses would have reportedly saved the Gunners £37.5 million per season if they had dropped to the second tier.

However, the north Londoners’ fears were unfounded. Arsenal’s fortunes improved that season, and they finished the season in eighth place after reaching the Europa League semi-finals.

Since then, the club has been on an upward trajectory. The Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League last season, missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day of the season. But things have started to click this time, and they may be able to end their long wait for a title.

Controversial Arsenal contract clauses demonstrate how much has changed since Mikel Arteta took over.

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