Premier League – Persie: Arsenal must pay more


Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has called for the club to abandon its strictly imposed salary cap for fear of losing their best players.

FOOTBALL 2007-2008 Champions League Arsenal Robin van Persie - 0

The Dutch marksman has expressed his concern that the Gunners’ wage policy is limiting the club’s ability to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

Already this summer, Mathieu Flamini has quit the Emirates to sign a far more lucrative deal with Milan and fellow midfielder Alexander Hleb is reportedly on the verge of penning a deal with Barcelona.

Arsenal are the only side in the top four to retain such a rigid financial policy and Van Persie believes that stance needs to be reviewed if they are to avoid losing more of their best players.

“They should make sure these players stay,” Van Persie said in The Guardian. “Arsenal have a policy in which they will not go over a specific amount of money when agreeing the salary of a player.

“They won’t pay enormous amounts of money. I think that they should go to a higher level of salary.

“If you want to keep the group together, you have to keep them happy. If you are 27 or 28 I can understand that you would make the decision to go elsewhere if you can earn three of four times as much.

“If that sort of money was also paid at Arsenal I’m sure the person would stay.”

Following a trophyless season at the Emirates, a mass summer exodus has been mooted with Emanuel Adebayor and Cesc Fabregas also linked to moves elsewhere.

Van Persie added: “It’s the principle. It’s very important that Arsenal keep these guys. This group is unique.

“If a number of them leave it will be different. I think of myself as an Arsenal man but Arsenal should also try to make sure we all grow together.”

Meanwhile, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger seems set to continue his policy of attracting promising young players with Samir Nasri close to finalising a deal that will see him make a £13 million move from Marseille.

Mike Hytner / Eurosport