Monday, June 17, 2024

Arteta on the ESL, apologies from Kroenke, fan protests and rebuilding trust [transcript]

Mikel Arteta says football clubs have been taught a big lesson and that protests against the European Super League are proof that “soul of this sport belongs to the fans”.

Facing the media for the first time since Arsenal pulled out of the proposed breakaway competition, the Spaniard was quizzed in-depth about whether the Kroenke ownership had apologised, the potential punishments that could be meted out and if trust can ever be rebuilt with the fans.

Blindsided by plans that he knew nothing about until Sunday, while also not being in a position to stick the knife into his employers, he tip-toed his way through some meaty questions, fielding some better than others.

On when he found out about Arsenal’s involvement in the ESL…

I found out just a little bit before the news was leaked. And then everything was completely out of control and the world reacted in a really unified manner. I did not really have time to think about it, reflect, evaluate or anything because by the time that was out a big tsunami had already come onto it and basically killed it.

On who apologised to him…

Vinai spoke to me and explained a little bit what was happening about the process just before that was announced. He was very clear and transparent with me. I understand the reasons why we could not know [earlier], obviously we were not involved in the decision but we understand the logic of it.

On whether anyone has apologised to him and the players…

Yes, starting from Vinai, the ownership and everybody that is involved in the process. All of them with the right intentions to defend the club and put the club in the best possible position for now and the future but accepting that the way it has been handled, obviously, has had terrible consequences and that it was a mistake. I have to really respect that when people have genuine intentions for this football club but it doesn’t happen or it’s not the right thing to do that they can stand up and apologise. I’m speaking for myself but I think the players and staff and everybody at the club we have to accept that and move on. The way it [the apology] has been handled has been really good internally.

On whether he’s had communication with the Kroenke family…

Yes, I had some communication with them as well. I spoke with them yesterday. The last communication was on the same terms. As always, when we need something or something is happening, they are straightaway ready to act, to give the answers that they can do. To give us the support that they can do. And they’ve done it again.

On if the Kroenke ownership had apologised…

Yes, absolutely. Obviously, they are the maximum responsible to run the football club. This is what they said, they apologised for disturbing the team and for not having the capacity and the ability to communicate in a different way earlier. They explained the reasons why and I passed on the message to the players. That’s all you can ask for. The way they’ve done it, I have to accept it.

On supporters protesting against their own clubs…

I think this has given a big lesson. And it shows the importance of football in the world. And it shows that the soul of this sport belongs to the fans. And that’s it. During this pandemic, for a year, we’ve been trying to sustain this industry with no fans in the stadium. But when the fans have to come out and talk they do it really loud and clear. And they send probably the strongest message that has ever been sent in the football world. Every club, leaving their interests apart, have done the right thing…they [the fans] are the ones, we have to listen to them, we put this out there and in 24 hours, they killed the project. That’s a massive statement for the history of football.

On potential sanctions against the ‘Big Six’…

I don’t know the legal details to respond to that question. Obviously, when you act and make the decisions, there are always consequences. I don’t know the extent of those consequences. I think here, as well, we have to understand the principles and the reason why those clubs were trying to achieve something. But if it wasn’t done in the right way, there is always consequences and we’re going to have to accept any that there are.

On why Arsenal thought it was a good idea to join the ESL…

I don’t know. But I know the people who work in the organisation. First, they are very caring for the interests of the football club and second, they are very intelligent and professional people. So I’m sure that they had the right reasons to start something, but it clearly didn’t work or it wasn’t the right time or it wasn’t done in the right way. And it was time to step back. It says a lot about the people who are involved in those decisions to undo something straightaway and to show something important to the important people in this industry which is the fans, who are the reason why we’re all sitting here.

On whether another proposal will succeed in the future…

Football will evolve, for sure. Like any other sport or any other aspect in life, like technology and the way we interact with each other. There are a lot of things that are going to change in the next few years. What I’m just hoping is that everything is constructive, protecting the wellbeing of football, the competition has to be a priority, the passion has to be a priority; the rest will take care of itself. I think if it’s done with the right reasons and unifying interests, I think very important achievements can be done. It will depend. I think now everything is damaged and everyone has to be working, and we have the responsibility sitting here and you guys there, to rebuild that trust and put football back in the right place so that we can move forward. The world is looking at us and we have a lot to say.

On how Stan and Josh Kroenke can rebuild trust with the fans…

I can talk from my experience as a player, a captain and now as a manager. We have always had great communication and full support from the ownership, which goes down to every member of the football club. The most important way to show it is that in the most challenging period for this football club during the pandemic, the way we have done things, the things we’ve reached out [and done] as a club, and the commitment of every single person at this club has shown in difficult moments, not just to be there, but when they had to help the club, they were there and that makes me really proud. The fans have to express their right and they have to do it freely. For me, what it shows is the power and the capacity when they show that determination and passion to achieve what they want. If we can use this with our fans to support the team, I think that will be incredibly powerful and it will make us much, much stronger. It’s time to leave them [the fans] time to express themselves and somehow we have to engage them again, get them closer to us, believe in what we do and if we do that, we’ll be in a much better place.

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“ On how Stan and Josh Kroenke can rebuild trust with the fans…”

How can you rebuild trust that never existed in the first place!


Trouble is to build trust with the fans you have to first meet them. You don’t meeting many Arsenal fans on a cattle ranch in the middle of Wyoming…


Silent Stan had to ask someone I the directors box what colour shirt our team were wearing for fucks sake. He has zero interest in the club beyond a profit and loss spreadsheet. The man is a parasite and he needs to go.


Or while in Africa shooting elephants.


He can rebuild trust by selling Arsenal.


be careful what you wish for. who should he sell to? some sugar daddy that will load us up with debt in order to buy short term success and sportswash their dodgy past? we will be in a worse state in 5 years time then. chelsea owe abramovich 1.4bn quid. look at the state of barcelona/tottenham/madrid/united etc. finances. i am no fan of KSE or football business in general but as far as owners go we could do a lot worse right now. KSE wants to turn a profit which means it has to now go back to basics and… Read more »


Do you really think they wanted to stick with the process and have a massive risk of backing a manager with no history or guarantee of anything?

mikel was plan b all along. Plan A was to be bankrolled by Perez and friends

Tanned arse

I’ve got no issue with the ownership investing none of their own money. Infact I prefer it. Everything we’ve ever achieved was done so as a club. They’re our trophies which we earned. It’s always about the process, the journey we go on for me. The stuff that generates emotions from frustration anger and despair through excitement joy and elation. The competing and always trying to reach your goals.That should be done and can be done through calculation decision making and execution. All I want from the ownership(whoever it may be) is to respect and value the principles of fair… Read more »


What is the opposite of INVESTING?
Collecting the profits?


I also think the criticisms of KSE are a little over the top. The most one can say is that they are not Arsenal fans and are not interested in success, only wealth. However, the backing of signing Pepe and Partey stands in contrast to that idea. I wish the club was smarter in the market, and better at managing the squad. The question is how much KSE has an impact on that. Emery was bad choice, so was Sanllehi -both are gone. Should we be shuffling the deck more often? Should KSE be driving these decisions? The results could… Read more »


I propose we boycott a particular shirt, refer to it on twitter as the @boycottedshirt and each of the other 6 clubs to nominate one of their own shirts to boycott – with a tag line like “No real Arsenal fan will buy this shirt”, and refer to anybody wearing one as a scab.


Don’t you just love Brits and the rest of Europe? They want club owners to invest money made from outside the league into their leagues. As long as you invest, they turn a blind eye to the source. Kronke’s Arsenal is a self-sustaining model that spends the funds it makes. Okay, let’s join the super league so we can make more and improve the team. NOOOOOO! YOU AMERICANS WANT TO KILL FOOTBALL!!! By August ya’ll will be clamouring (is this the Ame/Bre version?) for Kronke to invest money in the club or walk away for… wait for it… someone else… Read more »

Yorkshire Gooner

Thanks Paul just done so


We won’t apologise for not wanting to be part of something that damages clubs, fans and their staff for not being as rich as us. Keep that sh*t in America.


Kroenke wants the club to have a sustainable business model rather than rely on overseas oil money or stolen russian assets, and I applaud that, so you get a thumbs up for that bit of your post However, the family have made no effort to engage with fans and most of their ideas appear clumsy and poorly thought out. Board room revolving doors, making players take a pay cut, looking to charge for games on a PPV basis, taking annual management fees out the company, and now the ESL have all been disasters. They end communications to fans by saying… Read more »


Josh and Stan, you will never have any of our trust so you can absolutely get fucked if you think we are going to fall for this bullshit, scrambling apology. You have gutted our club and your true intentions for Arsenal were absolutely on display here. I mean you even sacked our mascot for goodness sake.


Pile the manager with vast funds to buy top players. Win matches, win the the Premier League. That’s how you rebuild trust…


Here’s a quote from Josh K reported earlier today:

“We have big plans to invest, we have plans, we want to be great again, but a long term model does not support long term high investment. No intention of selling.”

Make of that what you will. Doesn’t sound to me like there will be vast funds made available, more probably some modest pump-priming in the short term. We’ll see.


“ Pile the manager with vast funds to buy top players.”

This is how we got here in the first place. City and Chelsea model of ‘winning’ are a cancer on the game.

We need less of this shit not more.


While fans are ranting at the ESL, they better not lose sight of the old enemies FIFA, UEFA, FA & PL that have shown for a long time their contempt for the ‘working class fans’.


Very true…the question is now, having pushed back on this monstrous idea, wouldn’t it be wonderful if football fans the world over capitalised on the realisation of the power they can wield if they stick together & make real gains elsewhere too ?
Probably complete fantasy stuff on my part obviously to think it will happen …but you gotta hope right? For starters :

– force them into a real response on racism
– get the World Cup moved from a country that has allowed thousands to die building stadiums that will become relics as soon as the tournament ends


Without strong leadership the fans-united have no chance against billionaires and their media. Fans would be split and set against eachother, thru’ lies and deceits. These people run the world just like that…

Heavenly Chapecoense

What next? Fans protesting against VAR, offside rules? People are in need of revolutions. They jumped into Champions League’s Life Matter. Same revolutionaries were voting me down for questioning 350K a week given to Ozil and the player refusing 12% salary cut during the pandemic. More and more fans are watching games on illegal iptv and buying kits from Alibaba. Does the money fall from the sky? I am sure a new Super League with competition to be part of it will happen and we Arsenal fans will blame Stan for not investing his own money in the club for… Read more »


Not sure where to start with this. Football belongs to the fans – it’s a sport and football clubs should be run accordingly, not just as a business. It’s not simply a question of economics. For too long now we’ve been kicked in the teeth time again on loads of issues (including VAR) so why is it wrong to be “revolutionary”? If this has taught me anything it’s what strength of feeling can do for collective action. Arsenal belongs to us and at the very least we should have a say in the direction of the club. Lines are being… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Is there any difference between money and competition in the PL as of today?
Man City was a bottom table team before 2004. Even Leicester couldn’t do anything before their owner from Asia came with a good amount of money. Wenger said he offered lot of money to Vardy and Leicester gave him even more to keep him.
Taking money from football is like separating warm water into cold and hot.


You still don’t get it, do you? Kroenke doesn’t give us money as a gift – he loans it to us. We have had to pay him back for Auba, Laca, Willian (fucking waste of money he is), Partey and whoever else we sign while the toupee bandit is here. If Arsenal were owned by Flamini or either of the Nigerian billionaire Arsenal fans who have both heavily hinted at submitting a takeover, they would probably be bankrolled like Man City – not loaned the money. I’m only surprised Kroenke doesn’t charge us interest. It wouldn’t surprise me if he… Read more »


I neither condemn nor condone the ESL. This is an evolution of whatever forces created the PL.

I am saying don’t think UEFA/FIFA and their pals are on your side just because you happen to face the same foe for now.

Also, folks seeking punishment such as points deduction for Arsenal are farking bonkers. With the team’s ineptitude this year, points deducted foots not mean forfeiting a trophy. It means a very real relegation scrap.


I don’t think anyone is mistaking UEFA for anything other than the self serving thundercunts they are. But the lesser of two evils is always the better choice.

What we need, and what I hope but don’t believe we will get, is a better choice.

Better regulation. An end to financial doping. A game for all.

Limpars chip

Fucking lucky we’ve got you then eh, imagine if you weren’t about we’d be fucked


Yeah. I am expecting big protests before Emirates against UEFA to stop their profit activities and to let money to the clubs who must invest, not UEFA. If fans do not want ESL, they cant be for profiting UEFA either. Money for the clubs and they can decide how to feed the football pyramid. UEFA do not need money. It shall be a really small football service organization.


Agreed A P.
Highly recommend the opinion piece of Matthew Syed in the Times yesterday. Talks about the hypocrisy shown by FIFA and UEFA officials throughout this sad episode.

Arsene's Zip

We have always had great communication and full support from the ownership”. Well that’s bollocks.


I feel like he was thrown under the bus in having to be the face for this, but he took the corporate approach of mostly backing his employers, a bit weak on a personal level as he’s basically saying they did the right thing, but fans just didn’t like it. Still hard to blame mikel much he’s between a rock and a hard place right now.


I think he means him and his staff, personally, rather than speaking for the club as a whole. Not sure what else Arteta can do. Nobody else fronted up. He has to say the right things for fans, and not alienate/pile on criticism of the man who could fire him in an instant if he was too harsh on the plan. My viewing of the presser was that he was angrier, and far less enthusiastic about the Super League than he let on, but was conscious of not adding to the flames. Plus, he’s in a hugely difficult position. He’s… Read more »


I don’t think Arteta was thrown under the bus. The club released an apology, for what that’s worth, before the press conference. Also, I could be wrong, but didn’t they push back the presser anyways? Throwing him under the bus would have given Arteta even less time to react. The way these “founding” clubs went about pushing this through was garbage. Of course it’s all about the money it always has been and I find the sport less and less appealing when this lack of respect to the fans and their own organizations come forward. That said, the hypocrisy and… Read more »


I’d like some more flames please. This is a cathartic moment and Arteta’s words fall ridiculously short. Saying “the fans have spoken” but “everything was with good intentions” is weak sauce, just like Arteta’s season. He’s come out as Kroenke’s man and us fans can’t accept that. The Man City players spoke out. Bruno and Luke Shaw. Maguire almost came to fisticuffs with Ed Woodward. Henderson and the Liverpool squad put out a collective statement. And Arsenal? The only Arsenal men to have spoken out are Wrighty and David Seaman. Wrighty put it all on the line – this is… Read more »


I also realize Arteta is in an impossible situation, and it is because of rank cowardice from the Kroenkes and Vinai that he’s trotted out to face fans’ ire.

But his words are not correct – this was an attempted coup against everything the sport stands for – not the “right intentions.”

He is completely incorrect and we can’t let those words stand.


OK, that’s one opinion. Let me ask you how you would answer those questions if you were the manager and they were put to you. He’s in an impossible situation – he’s not part of the decision process, he’s not communicated to until the last minute, and he’s the only senior person with a microphone in his face.


You really want me to have a go at it? Alright, here goes: “Thank you for your questions. I’ve spoken to the management and ownership who have offered apologies to me, the players, everyone at the club and the fans. There is a lot of work to be done to heal after this episode. The players and I stand together that the spirit of football requires fair competition and success must be earned on the basis of sporting merit. That is the last I will speak on this matter. Please direct any further inquiries on this topic to the Press… Read more »


Sounds great. Reporters will keep asking and asking so I’m sure it gets frustrating. Sounds like he got asked multiple times about apologies. The bit about referring questions to the press office is funny. I read somewhere that Vinai will speak tomorrow at some kind of fan or press forum so it’ll be interesting to hear what happens there.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You listed a lot of players that came out and criticised the plan. True, but Arteta isn’t a footballer and his career would be seriously damaged / ended by being seen to publicly attack his employers.

People here need to use a little common sense before screaming at Arteta for not calling Kroenke out as the *** that he is.


My sense is fine thank you, and no one is “screaming.” “People” need to refrain from ad hominems. Arteta didn’t say what needed to be said. I’m a fan and I want everyone involved with Arsenal to defend its values and traditions from the chairman right down to the tea lady. I don’t want to be bullshitted about “genuine intentions” when it was a money-grab pure and simple. Guardiola managed to say what needed to be said without directly criticizing his employers. If Arteta felt he couldn’t speak freely, he should’ve kept his mouth shut instead of shoveling horseshit for… Read more »

Chippy Brady

Arteta was a sideways/backwards player who became a sideways/backwards manager who does sideways/backwards press interactions. Safety first.

A Different George

I think there was a lot said between the lines. For example: “Obviously, when you act and make the decisions, there are always consequences. . . . But if it wasn’t done in the right way, there is always consequences and we’re going to have to accept any that there are.” In other words: yeah, the six clubs really should be punished. Or: “There are a lot of things that are going to change in the next few years. What I’m just hoping is that . . . the competition has to be a priority” In other words: no closed… Read more »


I understand the reasons why we could not know [earlier]…’ Do tell, Mikael – after all, you and the team are only the people whose livelihoods they were screwing with, and we’re only the people whose money they want. But yeah, we wouldn’t know earlier…


All parties involved probably had to sig non disclosure agreements so it is not a huge surprise that players and managers were kept in the dark. They clearly thought they were going to pull this off and if the cat had been let out of the bag sooner then they would not have even got to where they did last Sunday. In some respects I am glad they got that far as it has shown them for the parasites of the game that they are. Question is, what happens next?

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Screwing their livelihoods where Super League was offering billions to poor teams?


You can’t genuinely think that was going to happen? This was a power, and more importantly, money grab by the big clubs. There wasn’t a hope in hell that the poorer clubs would be better off as a result. Of course they were going to say that to try to cover themselves but I am genuinely shocked anyone believed it…..


Big sidestep on the last question.


He speaks English a lot and quite well. I understand that he has married an English woman and perhaps he somehow learned to evade questions Wengersque style from her?


Mikel is married to Lorena Bernal who is an Argentine/Spanish TV host and a very lovely lady. Please stop making things up.


Not sure how Arteta could have answered any better, considering his affliation to his employers and to us [the fans]. Really dont think Arteta or the players have to answer for the Kroenkes.

Baichung Bhutia

I was a bit angry with his responses, but as a rookie manager I don’t think he could say much against the employers. If we had someone like Pep or Koop, they could come out and speak against it a little bit. One thing that annoys is how he keeps repeating that it was all done with the right intentions and also there was a reason it was kept secret from everyone at the club.

Tanned arse

I kind of agree. He hasn’t built up a reputation yet as a manager which would give him greater personal security so i understand he has to be more careful then a klopp or pep. At the same time i think he can afford to stay fairly neutral and not show any real support to his employers which i think he has done here by accepting they had good intentions. If the league had gone ahead then i would’ve demanded far more moral courage. As it stands i don’t blame him if he decides to keep his head down and… Read more »

A Different George

I think Klopp would have quit and gone back to Germany–or anywhere he wanted–if this had not ended quickly. On the other hand, like Arteta, he partially defended the Liverpool owners, saying they were serious people who must have had good reasons for keeping him in the dark. I don’t blame either of them.


I’m a bit disappointed and also concerned by how he is staying away from any significant expressions of support of the fans’ views. Statements such as “I’m sure that they had the right reasons to start something, but it clearly didn’t work or it wasn’t the right time or it wasn’t done in the right way” suggests that he might not be opposed to the same format if it was proposed at a different time or in a different way. Klopp, Pep, and others have been much more straightforward about how the ESL runs counter to sport as we know… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Don’t fool yourself. It was easy for Guardiola and Klopp to say the Super League should be based on competition. In fact, Arsenal and Spurs being part of it was the problem.


I don’t want to be too critical of Arteta because that would only bring attention away from those who we should be keeping our eyes on.
Perhaps I need to go back and read them again, but it almost seems like “the board” in its statement distanced itself more from the ESL as it has been proposed than Arteta did. Could he not have gone a little further? If not, I see even more reason for concern.


What a load of bollocks!


I know Arteta was never going to stick the knife in etc but I have to say despite that I don’t like the tone of his answers. Sounds a bit “ESL was the right thing presented in the wrong way” to me, which grates a bit


Well, given that Arteta is approaching a second 8th place finish in a row, being able to participate in the “Super League” without ever having to worry about the annoying need to qualify for it probably seems like a great idea…


That’s the thing isn’t it. Is the ESL concept wrong? Not the auto qualification bit which is definitely wrong. Essentially the state of football is going down the drain. It isn’t self sustaining. Big clubs have grown too big to operate within the limits of the industry. In hindsight that should have never been allowed to happen. There should have been financial restrictions capping the game in a way. Now you have top teams that will implode at the slightest financial hiccup be it lack of CL money and especially a pandemic. Yet the argument is that top teams should… Read more »


Yeah but the ESL, forgetting all of the sporting implications, is just financially kicking the can down the road. Yes the clubs will get in more money so the owners investments will grow and the owners will be happy, but then wages and transfers will inflate, costs will go up, clubs will overspend to try and compete with each other and we’ll be in the same position down the road. The thing about football is that even without the ESL it’s not as if vast amounts of money aren’t there already, the issue is that clubs aren’t operating in a… Read more »


Yup. Agreed.

I was more of going of the concept that it should escape the controlling power of the nonsense UEFA/The FA/FIFA because unless they wake up and be less greedy, this problem won’t go away. Just like how Man City escaped FFP penalties. They need to act now with proper financial checks and balances and a better distribution of wealth.

Badly run clubs should be warned, audited and penalized if they don’t conform to audit recommendations. Along with proper wage/transfer caps and regulatory control for agents.

Lego Stare

People act like football will just cease to exist. Clubs grown too big to operate? I call that good news…it could focus more on the actual game. Not like Neymar is going to get a job washing windows…the sport will live on no matter what.

Danger Mouse

He is in a horrible position of having to defend the indefensible over something that’s nothing to do with him.


Exactly this, like every manager of the ESL rebel clubs, other than maybe Guardiola and Klopp, as they have built up huge credit at their clubs, he is going to have to tow the company line to a degree.


I want to empathise that Arteta is in a reaply difficult position and it isn’t going to be particularly helpful for him to be honest and further call out the issues…but, pffft, I feel he really did roll over here.








yes, but only when there is a proper plan for what to replace KSE with. do you have a proposal?


You would have thought #WengerOut didn’t teach them a lesson about proper planning.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Kroenke was behind the Wenger Out Campaign. He saw Wenger’s position in the club as a threat to his plans for profitable mediocrity. A little nudge to the right people and before you know it he had 50% of our fanbase convinced that Wenger was to blame for all of Arsenal’s woes.


that’s a lot of nonsene. KSE bankrolled wengers’s final years. they had to fight very hard to implement a modern structure against wenger’s desire to retain absolute control. if anything, wenger should have been eased out 4 or 5 years earlier than he was and we could be much further down the road on the rebuild. at least now we seem to have realised there are no shortcuts for a club that wants to be self-sufficient and i think arteta has done an excellent job so far. no need to rock the boat unless we have a compelling alternative, which… Read more »


There was never a discourse between fan base and ownership, which has the been the choice of the owners, and they’ve now completely ruined any chance they had of building one. Fuck these guys. AFC deserves better. Let’s fuck them off out of here if we can. For me at least, the performance of the team comes a distant second to the health of the club. I want Arsenal to win the Europa League this season, but I’d trade it in a second for a chance to move to a different model of ownership. It’s never going to be a… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Only people who want to make money to add to the obscene amounts of money they already have will ever have a chance to own Arsenal…. unless the Premier League change their rules and allow or demand fan involvement/ownership along the lines of the German system. Sadly, the Premier League is simply another route to power and riches, so no hope from that direction. It’s only a matter of time before you talk to your kids about being Arsenal supporters, and when they ask “why?”, you’ll realise that there’s nothing left to hang the word “club” on. You’d do just… Read more »

matt keeler

Nicely sat on the fence Mikel.
I imagine behind closed doors he is fuming.

I hope UEFA ban all teams involved from European competition next season.


Haha yeah, would be a nice bit of bantz from Arsenal to make that suggestion actually since we’re almost certainly not going to qualify anyway.


So you’ve written off the Europa League?


Written off is a bit much, but I don’t have a great deal of expectation that we will win both the semi and final, no.

Urs Seiler

I like you idea of a ban. Means less money, more academy players. And hopefully #Kroenkeout.


So you wish the to punish the team and the supporters whose were against the idea?


I want to see all 6 clubs relegated for next season. What a championship season that would be!


Didn’t expect him to day anything different really. Tough position for him.
We will I’m sure get the usual platitudes from josh later..Great club. Listened to the fans. We back the club. Usual bollocks.
Their was no trust to begin with so no trust to build upon. Sadly we can do very little about these parasites in our club.


THE Kroenkbastard is only apologising because of the failed venture, not because of realising the error of his ways. Fuck him.



Mikel sounds like a smooth PR machine.


In other words, a load of utter bollocks.


Unfortunately, as a young manager getting mixed results, I think he couldn’t say more than that without risking his job. Not everyone is a Pep or a Klopp.

But I still hate reading this utter bullshit.


I’ve been a fan since 1986, when I was 6 years old. I might get crucified for this, but my love Arsenal died a little bit when we left Highbury. After this Euro Super League malarkey, it’s almost killed it for good. I dunno, I just can’t relate to the sport anymore and now it’s spilling over to the club. Sad times – I’m gutted and I don’t trust anything anyone says who’s connected to club anymore. That includes the manager and players too.


Same age, same issues! I don’t think it’s too late to change it though.

I hope the Glazers and FSG get ousted almost as much, cos once one shit american ownership group goes, they probably all will.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yeah, to be replaced by Russian and Chinese owners. Good Plan.

Urs Seiler

Totally with you, Duck. It killed something in us, opened our eyes, if this was necessary.


leaving highbury was the beginning of the end for me too. this has been happening for a long time and it was all started under dein and wenger. wenger himself said almost 20 years ago the ESL was coming and it was “inevitable”. everything we have done in past 20 years has been to put ourselves in a position to be part of that. this is not as simple as “KSE are evil” or “American Owners are Evil”. The game is rotten from top to bottom and has been for a long time. Arsenal are up to their necks in… Read more »


I agree – the game has been contaminated for a long time. Recent events were inevitable. The issue is – maybe ‘issue’ is the wrong term – The Premier League is such a global spectacle now. I left London in 2007, but I went to a handful of games in 2010/2011 season. It didn’t feel like a home game – not just because it wasn’t Highbury, but I was surrounded by tourists. It was like being at Madame Tussaud’s. In the end, if we stop going to games and supporting Arsenal, there’ll be droves who’ll travel and happily watch Arsenal… Read more »


i agree. like many other situations today, we are between two worlds. revolutionary times we are living in! 😉


The key take away from this interview is that the ESL isn’t dead by any means. Arteta seems to be saying that the ownership/Vinai feels that it’s the messaging that they they got wrong. They will certainly regroup and when they come next time, it will be for the kill. If fans think they have “won” this, they have another thing coming.

Pete Plum

Mickys press conferences are a waste of time

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

It was about more than the ESL.

Pete Plum

Fair enough I don’t follow press conferences much so shouldn’t generalise. His answers above are a waste of time though

Steve I

I fear KSE are going nowhere. You can feel the arrogance from them behind Arteta’s presser. He had to struggle to answer questions because he genuinely can’t speak for them, having not had a clue about anything until very shortly before the rest of the world. They now have the line (bullocks, it may be): “We listen to fans. You didn’t like what we wanted to do so we didn’t do it. We can build on this going forward” They, as manipulative, controlling, narcissistic billionaires, never face the wave of anger they faced from effectively everyone that mattered over a… Read more »


I agree that it’s unlikely the owner will sell. For a start, there’s nothing to suggest he’d sell for a loss so who is going to buy a football club at a premium price at this time? I doubt an orderly queue of potential buyers would form very quickly at The Emirates anytime soon. I fear we may need to change from “Silent Stan” to “Stuck with Stan”.


“Shambles” just about sums up the situation inside the club (and across the wider ill-fated ESL as well). A Gooner in a post here about an earlier story connected to the ESL suggested that the owner may authorise the club to “splash the cash” (without going mad, this is Stan) in the summer window as a distraction. A marquee signing (or two) would be a way of trying (I stress trying, as I’m not sure it would work given the depth of reaction so far) to repair a bit of the damage done by the ESL debacle. Interesting to see… Read more »


It’s absolutely appalling he should be the one sitting there having to answer for the owners shit-show. I don’t blame him for not completely ratting them out as they’ve put him in an impossible position. I’m not Arteta’s biggest fan but directing anger towards him is mis-placed. He is well aware of the traditions and values of our club – the Kroenkes just don’t give a shit. They are cowards without a shred of integrity and we want them out.

Vaibhav Pandey

That was intelligent and diplomatic more on the sides of appeasing Kroenke’s. Disappointed with Mikel in this.


What a crock of shit. I sympathise with Arteta having to answer these difficult questions but it does absolutely nothing to appease things. When are KSE going to issue an apology to the supporters? That is the very least they can do.

Public Elneny

Didn’t really expect much more from him in terms of dissent tbf

Anyway, he’s not the enemy, and neither are employees like Vinai or Edu. Fan anger should be 100% aimed towards Stan and Josh Kroenke


First of all anger should be aimed towards UEFA. KSE are club owners, UEFA is a useless money-grabbing organization instead of non-profit European football service organization. Super League will come. It is a natural evolution process.

Public Elneny

There is nothing natural about it. Yes, aided by UEFA, football has indeed been on a steady trajectory towards ‘bland entertainment content’ and the concentration of power to the very elite for the past 30 years (at least). But this has only been the case because we as fans have allowed and funded it. We’ve poured more and more money into football – despite its direction being overwhelmingly unpopular – because of marketing, habit and a sense that it makes us a good fan. Now there has been a flash point which has shined a light on this issue, a… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

So we all stop spending any money being Arsenal fans then, and that will fix football?

Public Elneny

Football isn’t facing a financial crisis because it’s clubs lack revenue. You could literally double all clubs’ revenues in the top 5 European leagues, and within a couple of years these clubs would all be right back to making huge losses – the extra money chucked straight at even higher player wages and agent fees. Clubs will still be paying their non-football staff minimum wage and the whole industry will be just as financially unsustainable as it is now. The total revenue of premier leagues clubs did in fact double between 2012/13 and 2018/19 ,and look at where that has… Read more »


Ever the corporate mouth piece Mikel. But no surprise from the guy who presented Gazidis a watch.


But did he ever show Gazidis his tunnel?


They are going to try again basically. FIFA and UEFA need to do something more reactive now. ESL used low quality of european matches as a reason, plus as limit on revenue. The Champions League rebrand is a further dilution of quality. Maybe its time for an actual ‘champions’ league with a pyramid of other European competitions that all feed into it. You could have anactual league format with just champions feeding into a playoff. Europa becomes the contenders cup with a chance to win qualification into the champs league and a further europa cup which could get you into… Read more »


Yes, it’s not over yet – just read what Perez at RM is saying. He is the driving force behind the ESL and a very slick operator behind the scenes who should not be underestimated. The ESL “founder” clubs may also still be legally bound to the organisation despite the fact that all but two (RM and Barca) have withdrawn publicly at least. Also, each of these clubs have, apparently, paid £8 million into an ESL kitty and it seems that there won’t be any refunds.

Vaibhav Pandey

If the payments have been made then the statements about pulling out is a plain lie, they will be back again and with more vigor.


I tried to start a local league today. 12 teams, all separate legal entities with the right of self-determination. I didn’t speak to the local population, just the owners – hubris on my part, for sure. What did surprise me was that we were all told, after freely agreeing, that we weren’t allowed to play who we wanted and when. It was to be regulated and I had to give my money to a third-party governing body. I really do think I ought to have explained what we were doing and why, but if the rule of law doesn’t apply… Read more »


Nicely described.

Public Elneny

Oh won’t someone think of the poor multibillionaires

Public Elneny

Firstly these “12 separate legal entities” all have millions of fans – stakeholders – who care passionately about their team NOT competing in your dumbass hypothetical league. Not to mention these entities’ employees, who seem to be largely of the same opinion. On what planet should their will be less worthy of consideration than that of the poor put upon owners? Secondly, it isn’t the rule of law that is preventing these clubs from forming the ESL or playing whoever they want, whenever they want. The various governing bodies have absolutely no obligation to allow teams who don’t comply with… Read more »

On how Stan and Josh Kroenke can rebuild trust with the fans…

A good start would be to sign Odegaard with cash from their own pocket as a goodwill gesture.


We won’t sign him for £2.50.


An even better start would be for them to clear their desks, pack their bags and fuck off for good.


can’t wait for the next thing that will make people angry so we can move on from this. yawn.


Move on to what?

If this isn’t something that bothers you, you might need to question what it is about football that you enjoy

Vaibhav Pandey

These are the fans ESL was referring to, take your pick maybe you and I are indeed legacy fans ffs!


Colour me legacy


The boss, or any manager of the clubs involved, shouldn’t be the one fielding these questions. The board should have to sit and be peppered with questions from the press.
Their decisions, their actions, their consequences to own.


I’m not a great supporter of the manager but I think some Gooners are being a little hard on him about his reserved comments on the ESL. He isn’t in the same league (super or otherwise) as, say, a Guardiola or a Klopp and his position obviously isn’t as secure so while they can be more forthright (albeit diplomatically), I suspect that he simply can’t.




What utter nonsense. Kroenke has destroyed Arsenal over 15 years. He is the cancer that will kill this club. Anyone defending him is just part of the problem.

Mascarpone Masquerade

And Perez comments are beyond delusional. Saying that only the other 14 clubs are making money! Same as the Liga, but mr Perez it is called living within your means!! It is a simple plus and minus game, if you spend hundreds of millions to pile up the best players, very unlikely you’ll make any money.


Arteta doesn’t understand that getting into football is not like any other job. It is a huge privilege, an honor and it’s not just about being professional. Arsenal represents an entire community at the local level (not the “our fans around the world” and “fanbase” crap). If the community that build the club cannot recognize it anymore, if it isn’t proud to support it, the players and managers and everyone making money from the shirt they wear every week should SPEAK UP and defend the club from whomever has hijacked it. Enough is enough. Football is not just a business,… Read more »


In theory, you’re right but in practice a manager of a football club is, when it comes down to it, an employee just like the players and all the non-playing staff. A football club is more than a business as you say, but it is still a business nonetheless, employing people in a variety of tasks – manager being one. Arteta is clearly in a tricky position. He simply doesn’t have the “heft” at Arsenal or in the game generally that the mangers at, say, City or Liverpool have. So while speaking up is always an option, so is being… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Professional Football is nothing but a business to the club owners. Even the ones that put money in are doing it for the clean and rinse that it gives to their reputations.

Vincent Ives

Well he’s definitely read Arsene’s handbook on how to handle press conferences.


Genuine intentions? Horseshit


Super League is just a distraction from new champions league changes!
The timing of announcement and retraction without any major pushback just doesn’t add up otherwise! We should be mad about that rather than super league!

David C

We should be protesting the new lame format changes to the Champion’s League as well.


Don’t blame you arteta, but if you think I will forgive the slimy, greedy, owner that is Stan Kroenke. You can think again!
#kroenke out


Just as I thought.

The wet whelk has sided with his employers (“I’m sure they had the right reasons (!!!!) to start something”) and patronised the club’s fans (“It’s time to leave them time to express themselves”)

In other words, what the heck, let the punters voice their opinions because it won’t change a thing, ultimately it will all blow over and I’ll still keep my job and still be the right side of the boss.



“Call me old-fashioned but we don’t need Kroenke’s money and we don’t want his sort.” Peter Hill-Wood on Stan Kroenke, 2007.
Someone should make a banner with this quote and hang it opposite the directors’ seats.


I find it VERY HARD to believe that the managers have been kept in the dark on this. All this has implication for summer market. Basically sounds like a lot of bollocks to me. The way forward ? If they want to keep Arteta even if he fails getting over the hurdle of winning the europa… 1) Unlikely to get new ownership cb who can meet valuation of club (which seems inflated at the moment). OTOH, who knows. But if the current ownership stays in place, maybe get in a better CEO than Vina. Venkathashem can stay to work day… Read more »

Baruch (Barend) Velleman

We’ll done supporters around the world for killing the idea immediately. The incredible reaction is unique

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