A number of senior players are thought to be preparing to demand an explanation for the proposed redundancies, announced yesterday by head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham.
The majority of the squad agreed to a 12.5 percent pay-cut in April – reduced to 7.5 percent following Europa League qualification – on the understanding it would help save jobs, and some have been left dismayed by the news and fear they could be blamed.
Player power has already proved influential during the pandemic, with the Tottenham and Liverpool squads playing a part in their clubs' decisions to reverse using the taxpayer-funded furlough scheme.
Arsenal's decision to cut nearly 10 percent of employees was explained to staff by Sanllehi and Venkatesham in a conference call on Wednesday afternoon, with the players and Mikel Arteta informed separately. While some staff have already been told their fate, others remain in the dark despite the club having gone public.
Gunners legend Ian Wright was among those to express dismay as social media reacted with anger, tweeting at the club: "Remember who you are, what you are and who you represent!!!" accompanied by three upset emojis.
Arsenal's matchday revenue accounted for nearly 25 percent of their earnings in 2018-19 – the highest percentage in the Premier League – and the club said the measures were necessary due to the financial impact of the coronavirus.
While the majority of cuts are expected to be in commercial and administrative departments, some staff are being let go from football roles – including head of international scouting Francis Cagigao, head of UK scouting Peter Clark and scout Brian McDermott.
A source close to the club said those cuts were aimed at modernising the recruitment department as part of a move to a more data-driven model.
The Gunners have continued an old-fashioned approach of having scouts specialising in different regions but Arteta is thought to be pushing for a similar approach to that of Liverpool and Manchester City, who rely on analytics rather than roving scouts.
The impending departure of the three most senior members of the club's recruitment department has, however, led to increased fears over the influence of agents, including Kia Joorabchian, and Arsenal are pressing ahead with plans to sign his client Willian from Chelsea, on a three-year deal thought be worth £150,000-a-week.
The club is also pursuing a new contract for FA Cup hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, worth in the region of £250,000-a-week, and are no closer to shifting Mesut Ozil, their highest-earner on £350,000.