Arsenal chief executive says staff cuts caused 'sleepless nights'





London - Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham says he has had sleepless nights over making staff redundancies due to the financial strains placed on the club by the coronavirus pandemic.



On August 5, the FA Cup winners announced they were cutting their workforce by 55 but were then criticized after continuing to buy players and award new contracts. 
“To make that decision was really tough but we needed to restructure our organization,” Venkatesham told the BBC late Thursday.
“This is not a big organization. We've got hundreds of employees all based within 30 miles of each other. I know the people, I know their families. This has been a really tough week.” 
Nine days after the staff announcement, Arsenal bought Brazilian defender Gabriel from Lille for 23.4 million pounds (30 million dollars). 
It has also been reported they are set to offer star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a new three-year deal that increases to 250,000 pounds per week. 
But one thing Vankatesham hopes will improve the situation is the return of fans in stadiums, which the British government announced on Thursday will be no earlier than October 1. 
"We hope the government announcement won't change the aim to get fans back in the stadium on 1 October, but it's possible that it will,” he said. 
“All of our revenue streams; broadcast, matchday and commercial will be impacted for a long time.
"The virus is evolving in a way that is completely unpredictable but I would hope within grounds across the pyramid we can find a solution that would get fans back into stadiums in a safe way.” 

 


Friday, September 11th 2020
(dpa)
           


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