FC Sion: Alex Song and Johan Djourou Among Nine Players Sacked Over Pay Row

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Alex Song Johan Djourou
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: (L - R) Alex Song and Johan Djourou of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on August 12, 2011 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Former Arsenal players Alex Song and Johan Djourou are among nine players who have been sacked by Swiss Super League club FC Sion due to a row over wages. The nine did not sign an agreement for a wage cut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Arsenal Players Alex Song and Johan Djourou Among Nine Sacked Players

Alex Song and Johan Djourou Now Clubless

It has been a few years since Alex Song and Johan Djourou last took the field for Arsenal. The two played a combined 355 matches across all competitions for the Gunners during their respective tenures at the club.

However, neither player won any trophies during their time in north London. Since their departures from Arsenal, both have become journeymen of sorts. Song spent two seasons with Barcelona, although eventually landed at West Ham United on loan before stints in Russia and Switzerland.

Djourou, meanwhile, moved to Germany with Hamburg before spending time in Turkey, Italy and Switzerland. However, both will have to seek pastures new when football does return, whenever that is, after their contracts were terminated by Sion.

Among the other seven players who also got their marching orders is former Fulham man Pajtim Kasani and ex-Newcastle United loanee Seydou Doumbia. Club captain Xavier Kouassi, Ermir Lenjani, Mickael Facchinetti, Christian Zock and Birama Ndoye are the others to be sacked.

What Was on Offer?

FC Sion president Christian Constantin contacted the players via WhatsApp on Tuesday offering an unemployment payment. The deal would have given each player 9,600 Swiss Francs, or 80% of the legal monthly salary in Switzerland.

The deadline to accept came and went on Wednesday at midday local time. Although more than nine players either refused the deal or failed to respond, the club only took action against the nine including Alex Song and Johan Djourou.

The Swiss Players Union, SAFP, has officially protested the action by FC Sion. The players in question are also reportedly seeking legal advice on the situation. The Swiss club is the first in Europe to dismiss playing staff during the coronavirus crisis, however, time will only tell if they will be the only ones.

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