Roy Keane speaks out on Mesut Ozil’s decision not to accept Arsenal pay cut
Roy Keane has offered his backing to players at top clubs who have not agreed to pay cuts when they’ve “got a billionaire in the background”.
Arsenal announced that they had agreed a 12.5% pay cut with their first team on Monday whilst Chelsea are moving close to a deal with their squad.
However Mesut Ozil is one of three members of the first team who has not yet agreed to that deal.football.londonrevealed on Wednesday that the 31-year-old is prepared to sign up to a more significant pay deferral immediately without taking the possibility of a pay cut at a later stage.
Ozil’s decision prompted something of an outcry after it emerged on Monday with Jamie Carragher publicly questioning what he viewed as the World Cup winner’s failure to set an example for the rest of the squad.
However former Manchester United captain Keane believes that players at top clubs should not be facing undue pressure to cut their wages when their owners are vastly more wealthy.
“I’m not sure how I would have dealt with it but I do have a lot of sympathy for the players out there,” he told The Football Show. “A lot of players are getting criticised.
I’m probably talking about players at the really big clubs with a lot of wealthy owners and a lot of pressure to take pay cuts. I wouldn’t take a pay cut from anybody if I was at one of the bigger clubs.
“I know there’s pressure on players but it’s nobody’s business what you do with your wages. You take your wages and if you want to be generous go ahead and do it.
“I don’t think players should feel under pressure from clubs, particularly the bigger clubs, to take pay cuts. They’ve signed a contract – I know everyone has different personal details – but your contract with the club is a personal matter.
“This idea that all the players should take a pay cut, I think that’s nonsense. It’s up to the individual and if they want to stick to their guns and say I’m sticking with my full wages while we’ve got a billionaire in the background then do it.”
Ozil has not publicly commented on his pay negotiations with Arsenal. The club’s offer remains on the table for the former Germany international and others who have not agreed to the terms.