Arsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro confirmed to Arseblog News that he has not had personal contact from KSE or Vinai Venkatesham since the plans for the proposed European Super League dissolved on Tuesday evening. In his press conference on Thursday, Mikel Arteta confirmed that the club’s ownership had been in touch with him to extend an apology to the players for the disruption caused.
In the announcement from the 12 breakaway clubs on Sunday, there was a perfunctory line about an adjacent women’s European Super League, even though it would lack the presence of Wolfsburg and Lyon, who have won the last seven Women’s Champions League titles between them. Liverpool Women are currently playing in the second tier of women’s football in England having been relegated last season.
Arseblog News asked Joe Montemurro at his Friday morning press conference whether he had had the same level of contact from the club as Mikel Arteta and whether an apology had been offered. Montemurro confirmed the club hadn’t been in contact but he felt that the announcement had little impact on the women’s team due to the paucity of detail.
“The reality is that the information around the women’s competition was very sketchy. I think it was probably just added on as an extra to put it in as part of the package. I haven’t had any chats with Vinai since the announcement happened on the all staff call earlier this week. I haven’t had any contact with anyone from the club from that perspective, no.”
I also asked Joe whether anyone had spoken to him prior to the announcement on Sunday evening, “We were all (the men’s and women’s teams) in the dark there, I was watching some football on Sunday and there were snippets coming out about an announcement and I must admit that it caught me by surprise. I found out just like everyone else and probably like you guys did. There was no indication that this announcement was going to be made.”
The Arsenal coach said that the announcement did not cause internal stress with the women’s team because of the lack of detail around the proposal. “Three of the biggest brands in women’s football, in PSG, Lyon and Bayern weren’t involved so they were probably playing the political balance a bit. That to me confirms that it probably wasn’t thought out very well and that it wasn’t thought out in the manner that it needed to be.
“From our perspective it’s all come and gone, we can all learn from it and where the football landscape is. Hopefully we use all of this information to grow and be better on and off the pitch. I wasn’t disappointed not to be consulted, no. The reality is there weren’t many details so it hasn’t had a big effect.”
Arsenal Women play Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon at 2pm in the Women’s Super League. A full preview for that match will appear on the site on Saturday afternoon.