Arsenal football club's first-team players are reportedly set to return to training from Monday, April 27, albeit with limited training ground access. There has been no confirmation regarding the resumption of Premier League football, as the league in its last update mentioned that the game will resume only after the COVID-19 situation improves and it is considered safe to step out as per the government.
Premier League club's London Colney training ground has been shut for over a month due to the coronavirus pandemic and over the weekend, Sky Sports quoted a spokesperson confirming the developments and also stated how 'social distancing' will be maintained and the training will be managed carefully. The players will be subjected to individual workouts and training and fitness only. The players are to continue training as per the government guidelines.
Earlier, the club reached an agreement with the players and support staff to take a 12.5% pay cut for one year in order to offset the financial difficulties that the club will have to face due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown of public places.
The club stated that the deal with the players is based on an agreement that certain specific targets in future seasons, based on the performance and success of the club, will determine the pay. "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," said the club spokesperson.
The club added, "The agreement is based on the assumption we will finish the season 2019/20 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."
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus in March which led to the league canceling all matches for a short term period. The last Premier League match took place on March 10.