I decide how much my players get paid; FA CUP THIRD ROUND: SWANSEA v ARSENAL T MATCH ODDS: SWANSEA DRAWARSENAL WENGER LIFTS THE LID ON WAGE STRUCTURE EXCLUSIVE.
ARSENE WENGER admits he is responsible for Arsenal's much-maligned 'socialist' wage structure.
For the first time, manager Wenger has given a fascinating insight into how Arsenal's pay system works.
With Arsenal desperately trying to agree a new contract with Theo Walcott, Wenger has confirmed that HE decides how much players earn - and confessed that the pay scale he advocates can leave the club vulnerable.
"We don't have a big gap between what our players earn at Arsenal," said Wenger. "We are more a socialist model and vulnerable because of that.
"We have something that is defendable in front of every single player. We make exceptions, but the exceptions are maybe not as high as elsewhere.
"We have an amount of money that is dedicated to wages. Within that we try to do things that make sense and are defendable."
Arsenal's highest earner is thought to be Lukas Podolski, on about PS90,000 a week, but even players towards the bottom of the senior squad pay scale pocket PS50,000 a week. In the last published figures by Deloitte, Arsenal had the fifth highest wage bill in the Premier League, spending PS124million, ahead of rivals Tottenham who shelled out PS91m on salaries.
The initial refusal of Wenger to improve an PS80,000-a-week opening contract offer to Walcott stalled negotiations. The England star's impressive form has now found Wenger willing to increase his offer.
The Arsenal manager's wages philosophy has also created problems when it comes to selling players, and the Gunners will have to part-fund striker Marouane Chamakh's salary while he is on loan at West Ham. Wenger said: "I've believed all my life to pay well people who work for us. If you can afford to do it, you do it.
But we have no players on PS200,000 a week."
Wenger, who has an economics degree, is given an overall budget for wages and is then left to distribute it how he sees fit. "As long as our business is organised so we do not need any help from anybody... then it is defendable," said Wenger. "Afterwards, you can always say, 'Is it enough, is it too much?' That is a more philosophical question."
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sPAYMASTERGENERALArsene Wenger sets the wages for stars like Walcott (below)
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jan 6, 2013|
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