Backpage roundup: Wage structure changes, Gazidis' Usmanov block and more

Arsenal’s Wage Structure to Undergo Changes
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has said that in order to offer lucrative terms to the club’s superstar players like captain Robin van Persie, the Gunners are prepared to make changes to their currently ‘flat’ wage structure. (Daily Mail)
In Wednesday night’s Q&A session with the fans at the Emirates, Gazidis admitted that Arsenal’s wage structure is flatter than some of their rival clubs and revealed that the board is trying to make necessary alterations to it.
He said: “We have inefficiency of spending in our squad – but we are moving towards as efficient a model as possible. Our wage structure has been based around a flatter salary structure – that is part of a team ethos the manager develops, it’s about interaction between players – not superstars.
“But we have looked at this carefully and we have to make adjustments for top talent. They are earning a lot of money and I don’t think that will slow down. We have to adjust our model.”
It should be noted that van Persie’s current Arsenal deal earns him £70,000 a week, a pay rate that is just marginally higher than that of his fringe teammates such as Manuel Almunia, Abou Diaby and Marouane Chamakh.
Arsenal Facing Competition from QPR for Giroud’s Signature
In order to avoid the relegation dogfight next season, Queens Park Rangers have reportedly submitted a bid to Montpellier for their star striker and Arsenal target Olivier Giroud. (Daily Mail)
The Gunners were rumoured to be in pole position to sign the French international, but it seems that Rangers boss Mark Hughes is also keen to recruit the 25-year-old, who has an exit clause in his contract that can be triggered with a bid of £12.8 million.
If the Rangers succeed with their audacious bid for Giroud, then Arsenal will have to turn their attention to their other forward targets such as CSKA Moscow’s Seydou Doubmia and Malaga’s Salomon Rondon.
England Can’t Afford To Lose Euro Opener, Says Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that if England are defeated in the opening game of their Euro 2012 campaign against France, then it would be virtually impossible for them to win the competition.
In an interview with, Wenger said: “The opening game is England v France and there is no Rooney. You would say that is a game that you cannot afford to lose. Why? Not because you cannot catch up, but (because) the pressure inside the country becomes tremendous straight away.
“That game could dictate the whole group. If it’s a 0-0 draw, the group is all open, but if someone loses they have a very good chance of going out because Ukraine will beat one of the two, you would say, and Sweden are a hard team to beat.
“They are always well-organised tactically and they have (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic coming back, who can make a difference. They are traditionally a difficult opponent for England. It’s a difficult group overall.”
Gazidis: No Board Membership for Usmanov
Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis has said that the club has no intention of offering a board membership to their billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov. (Daily Express)
Gazidis and company believe that Arsenal would benefit a great deal in FIFA’s Financial Fair Play era and therefore, they don’t want to ruin it by inviting the wealthy Usmanov on-board, as he may want to inject some of his cash into the club.
The Gunners number one said: “I don’t think whether it’s Mr Usmanov or anyone else out there that we should pump money into the football club. We don’t think that is healthy or for the good of the game. When I arrived three-and-a-half years ago there had been a lot of change of the board and some degree of conflict.
“Since then we have worked hard to ensure the board is unified and has a common purpose. In terms of any further additions to the board it is important we don’t disturb unity and don’t create conflict.
The club’s fans instantly objected to Gazidis and company’s decision, as their spokesperson told the press: “The board are wrong to deny Usmanov a platform on the board. All shareholders should work together for the benefit of Arsenal. Usmanov can provide skills and expertise that could help us to compete in the transfer market.”

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