Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should hand Arsenal ultimatum over new contract


There is only one word to describe Arsenal’s actions in recent days – ridiculous.

And if I was Pierre-Emerick ­Aubameyang, I would seriously consider telling them to stuff their new contract because of the terrible position they’ve put him in.

Think about it for a second.

Who is going to get the stick when 55 people are thrown on the scrapheap, at the same time as a player is given a ­massive new deal that would pay the wages of those made redundant many times over?

It’s always the players who get ­slaughtered. They did when Matt Hancock had a go over their salaries, even though billionaires were lining their pockets with Government handouts and then laying people off.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will undeservedly be cast as the villain if he accepts a big pay rise while staff are being laid off

Aubameyang is in an impossible ­situation. When he signs that deal, the very first question he will face is, shouldn’t he have taken a wage cut to stop the team behind his team being thrown out of work?

It would serve Arsenal right if he said no. He can get the same wages elsewhere, without being damned for it.

He would be a hero anywhere else, but this ridiculous situation he finds himself in means he will be cast as a villain.

I’ve heard the argument that the big picture says you get things right on the pitch and everything else around it will develop, but, looking at that right now, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Football isn’t just about getting together a talented collection of individuals on the pitch. It’s not about attracting mercenaries who come for the money and nothing else.

It’s about creating an environment where people believe in each other and put themselves on the line for each other. You don’t do that by saying we’re going to screw over so many of the people the club depend on.

Their decision HAS screwed over ­everyone, including the players, who are being treated like commodities – which is exactly what they are in football – and not like part of a team within a team.

What will the environment be like within the club now? I’ll tell you – toxic.

The manager knows it stinks, the ­players know it stinks, the people who are facing being kicked out of work when there are few jobs to go around know it stinks.

The only ­people who don’t, ­apparently, are the Arsenal board.

Aubameyang could use his clout at Arsenal to force a rethink from the Gunners board

But ­seriously, what reaction did they expect, after asking players to take wage cuts to save jobs and then getting rid of 55 ­people anyway?

It is lunacy to think there would be anything other than outrage, especially when they are preparing to spend big money on fees and wages for players they’ll bring in this summer.

For me, it will be really interesting to see whether the board recognise the damage they have done and reverse their decision.

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Because the truth is their fans are appalled and disgusted by this. So we will see how much they really value their fans – their customers. We will see how much they actually respect them.

I honestly can’t see another way out.

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They have to get creative and find ­another way to cut costs because we’re not talking about super-rich people ­getting a pay-off, we’re talking about real people’s lives, often on low incomes. And losing those jobs will be devastating.

There is one other solution, and I hope Aubameyang considers this.

He could say: “Fine, I’ll sign the ­contract – but only if you reverse the decision to sack all those people. Save my colleagues.”

That would change the whole situation completely.

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