Theo Walcott by Amlan
Robin van Persie has already left for Manchester and Alex Song is supposedly on his way to Barcelona, so will Theo Walcott be the next big name to leave the Emirates?
Walcott is in the last year of his contract and is yet to sign an extension. Arsene Wenger said to the press –
‘We are still trying to extend his deal.’
‘When a player doesn’t want to stay you either force him or you let him go.’
These words will certainly not give much hope to the Gooners out there. Reportedly Walcott is holding out for a £100k per week contract. Arsenal have been known to be tight fisted when it comes to negotiating contracts and pay-rises with the players. This comes just days after Arsenal attempted to make Robin van Persie their highest paid player in the club’s history, but he the £250,000-a-week wage that he is now on at Manchester United is not even half of what Arsenal offered him. We have already seen Samir Nasri leave the club for similar reasons last season when Manchester City offered him a pay-package that nearly doubled what he received at Arsenal.
So if Theo Walcott is demanding a £100k contract, is it unjustified?
The fact is that the big names at Arsenal don’t earn as much as the stars of others clubs do. When one looks at the contract of Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney, Yaya Toure et all, the weekly wages of Arsenal players fades in comparison. This is because of two things primarily, the first reason is well documented in this recent interview of Arsene Wenger –
‘We live in the economic reality which other clubs do not. There are some things we cannot afford to do. It is as simple as that.
‘How much do you want to pay, £250,000 a week? £300,000? We are here to make the players as rich as possible but also to respect our balance sheet.
‘Honestly, I think it is a short-term problem. You cannot imagine the world will go on just splashing money out without any return.
‘When you have lost the standard of living for normal people, and the football world always gets higher and higher, that cannot last because people will not accept it.’
The second reason is because there are lot of players at Arsenal who are on wages they don’t really deserve. At Arsenal there is not much difference between the wages of a reserve/someone who at best would be a bench warmer and the wages of the first team players. Until the wages of these players are reduced, Arsenal won’t be able to pay the first players what they deserve. Even players like Manuel Almunia (who recently left the club) were on wages that they would have got in any other club.
As of now, Walcott is still far from signing a contract and it looks like he might on his way out. So who thinks Arsenal should change their wage structure to cater for players demands like Walcott?