ARSENAL are already planning for a shock relegation to the Championship with their big earning stars braced to take huge pay cuts.
The prospect of the Gunners dropping from the top flight appears more likely by the week as they sit four points above the drop zone at Christmas.
Just four wins in 14, including no league victory in their last seven, leaves boss Mikel Arteta fighting to save his job.
Arsenal’s wage bill tops around £150million with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pocketing £350,000-a-week.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the best paid players in England on £350,000 a week
Arsenal’s expenditure mirrors one of a Champions League side and relegation could financially cripple the club if they don’t address the issue.
Mikel Arteta’s men sit 15th in the Premier League and just four points above the drop zone
Premier League clubs, particularly those expected to finish towards the foot of the table, usually put relegation wage-cut clauses in players’ contracts.
It is believed Arsenal have also implemented these clauses despite pre-season ambitions of reaching Europe.
Arteta is now favourite in the Premier League sack race following Arsenal’s dismal campaign.
The Telegraph write that his cause is not helped by divisions among the squad and ‘hostility in the changing room.’
But the Spaniard is not willing to die on his sword and called for his players to fight for their futures.
He said: “Normally when [a bad run] happens you have two types of people – fighters and victims.
“You need fighters and you don’t want any victims.
“Victims bring excuses, victims bring negativity and they start to blame anything that is happening around them or is not going their way.
“You need people who fight, people who contribute and people who are ready to give everything to the club in this moment.
“Some of them can doubt in any moment because when you find yourself in this situation you are tempted to go to the other side and say, ‘Oh, we are scoring own goals, we cannot play with 10 men, we don’t have the crowd and the referee made these decisions’.
“I’m sorry but we don’t need any of those.
“There are people who are contagious and can transmit a certain level of energy. When you have a lot of them it is easy.
“You always have some on one side, some in the middle and some completely on board.
“Then you have to drag as many people as you want into your side, to the fighting side. And the ones who are not interested or cannot do it, they have to stay behind because, if not, they are dragging you back.”