‘AFC not the authors of this proposal’ Venkatesham defends Arsenal’s ESL involvement

Vinai Venkatesham has defended Arsenal after they made a “mistake” by joining the European Super League.

The Gunners were one of the 12 teams who agreed to form the breakaway competition.

The plan was for the competition to replace the Champions League and its founding members would participate each year regardless of their finishing position in their respective leagues.

The teams had expected their fans to support them, but the opposite was the case and Arsenal fans are still raging about their team’s involvement in the scheme.

Some fans believe this show of greed by Stan Kroenke was the last straw and now is the time for him to sell up and leave their team.

The American’s son, Josh Kroenke and Arsenal’s CEO, Vinai Venkatesham have now spoken to an Arsenal Supporters’ Forum.

Venkatesham clarified that the Gunners didn’t lead the way in establishing the new competition, but they joined because they didn’t want to miss out.

It is rather worrying that they were so easily lead into this if what he is saying is true and equally worrying that they were unaware of how the fans would feel about this.

Hopefully, they learn the lessons from this and that football is a meritocracy and success is earned and not a right.

Tags Vinai Venkatesham


  1. They, KSE, Vinai were in on it!

    Little white lies….
    Sheesh, get this crap out of our club!

  2. A complete shambles! Arsenal shouldn’t be anywhere near anything called Super we are a mid table team like it or not.. the teams finishing in the top 4 are the teams deserving to play in the best european cups/leagues… Invest in the squad and earn the right to play in the best competitions.

  3. So the fact that Kroenke is one of JPMorgan’s biggest clients was just a coincidence…I think not…I guarantee this all came to fruition in the days leading up to him borrowing approximately 2B from them for his LA Rams stadium project…btw the most expensive stadium ever, yet still not a penny spent on the actual crowning jewel of his sporting empire

    1. That stadium would be the pitch where arsenal would play “soccer” in the super league, vs gazidys milan team in kroenkes wet dreams.

  4. Josh and Vins talk with the fans meant nothing.

    Devoid of any content other than we are sorry but we did it because we were worried about being left behind..

    Well aren’t we already behind. I mean mid table mediocrity for good knows how long.

    Stan stays silent and Josh only pipes up (and says nothing) to try and heal the deepening wound, as his fathers mouthpiece.

    What a joke!

  5. ‘The train was leaving the station, we didn’t want to miss out, we hadn’t a clue where it was going but we jumped onboard anyway.’ If that’s true (I don’t believe it for a second) then it’s worse than I thought. They have confirmed what I have believed for some time – crap management.

    I am an optimist though and still believe that at some point a new owner will restore some of the class that has oozed out of our club since David Dein left. I hope it is during the limited time left on my clock!🤞

    1. I hope so too.

      But stop this David Dein stuff.

      He’s also part of the problem now even if he doesn’t know the future.

      He brought in Kroenke.

      1. Keep in mind, once Dein discovered what Kroenke’s true intentions were he tried desperately to thwart him…unfortunately the lame-ass Board lined up squarely behind our absentee landlord when it mattered most for some or all of them to develop some sort of a spine

        1. TRVL, exactly right. Kroenke and his cohorts stabbed David Dein in the back and drove him out of the Club, once he introduced Usmanov and backed him.

      2. Thank you very much.
        I was just about to say the same.
        People keep going on about David Dein like he is not the person that introduced Kroenke to Arsenal. Wasn’t dein the one that begged everyone to sell their shares to Kroenke in the first place?

        Wasn’t Dein the first board member to sell all his shares to his dear froend Kroenke and made a little tidy profit?

        I just don’t get it.

        1. Dein also introduced Usmanov, because he realized that external funding was essential to thriving in the new football world. Chelsea and Manchester City proved him right.
          With respect to Stan Kroenke, David Dein isn’t the first and won’t be the last to make a misjudgement of character. Forcing David Dein from the Board was the biggest mistake Kroenke made, as far as the future success of Arsenal FC was concerned.

      3. And if I can remember correctly Dein had a choice between his 2 billionaire friends Usmanov and Kroenke. But he opted for Kroenke.
        I can remember the media here pitting Kroenke against Usmanov. “American integrity vs Russian mafia blah blah”..

        1. I thought that Dein formed a partnership with AU to out bid Kroenke? I could be mistaken of course

          1. SueP, you are correct and this is why David Dein was driven from the Board. Unlike the Kroenkes, he apparently attends every Arsenal home game he can, having retained a private box.

        2. Goonster, what actually happened was that Dein originally introduced Kroenke to the board. But Dein then went in with Usmanov and Red holdings was formed. But most directors, including Dein, had sold their shares to Kroenke, enabling him to hold approx two thirds of club shares while Usmanov had less than thirty percent, at that time. Subsequently Usmanov, knowing he had no actual power and only a minority share holding, sold his to Kroenke who ultimately took complete control and took the club private, so no proper independent “interference” was possible . Just the Kroenkes alone. Evil!

    2. If only David Dein had not introduced Kroenke to our club and basically instrumental in Kroenke joining the board, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this mess now, just saying.

      1. Declan, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t misjudged the character of at least one person in their lives. David Dein tried to rectify the situation with Usmanov and paid a high price for himself and Arsenal FC unfortunately. He did however cash his shares out for a small fortune, as in 1991 he owned 42% of the Club.

    3. The train was leaving the station, we didn’t want to miss out, we hadn’t a clue where it was going but we jumped onboard anyway.’😂👍the perfect analogy!

      1. And, siamois, I forgot to mention they paid £8m for the ticket to the Magical Mystery Tour!!😄

  6. Hypothetically, IF the Super League had gone ahead with the other 5 English teams included along with the other big European clubs you would really NOT want to be a part of the competition?

    I am glad the competition has been shelved (even if it is likely to resurface in some form or other down the track) BUT if it did go ahead it would be madness not to be a part of it. You could forget ever competing with the other 5 then.

    In fact, the train left the station a long time ago and Arsenal is already on it… The Premier League schedules are controlled by TV broadcasters (the same network owned by the guy largely responsible for the Jan 6th American insurrection). Arsenal play home games in a stadium called ‘The Emirates’, their season tickets are the most expensive in Europe and we have a Billionaire owner who probably does not know what colour the away kit is. This hasn’t been a community club for decades.

    And David Dein should not be held up as the moral standard in this discussion… He was THE prime architect of the creation of the Premier League, which in its day was a very similar power grab by the domestic big clubs to increase their piece of the pie. He was also the guy who brought Kroenke into the tent and then brought an oligarch with even more questionable moral reputation into the same tent. And Dein did it so that he and his fellow shareholders could get paid out millions.

    1. And once he left, Arsene Wenger lost his chief supporter and confident and the Club started on its downhill slide.

    2. Ahem, You write a great deal of sense with proper perspective. Apart from you final sentence with which I do not agree. I believe Dein brought both those billionaires in to help the club he has spent his life in love with. Dein was already fabulously rich BEFORE they came onboard.

      The real difference though with Dein, compared to all the other scumbag owners, is that Dein was and remains a dyed in the wool Gooner and cares passionately for the club. Even though he clearly likes personal riches too!

      But that personal part is not any of our concern; the club however is, and who would you most trust to do what is right; a lover of the club who also loves money, OR someone who cares nothing for the club but who craves money and still more money?
      I suggest that last sentence is the key point that matters most, going forward. If football is not run by folk who are real fans, we fans in the game are in big trouble and vulnerable to the vultures that KSE, Glazers, FSG etc certainly are.

  7. If Arsenal weren’t the architects of this doomed league then somebody else was. It smacks of American involvement due to the format but RM and Barcelona plus Juventus seemed to be clinging to the idea for dear life as it crumbled.

    There is scant consolation in knowing that our club didn’t dream it up. Listening to the likes of Potter and Ancelotti on TV condemn the idea – that competition was important in European culture was compelling and made the owner’s belief that he was doing the best for us long term just a pathetic excuse

  8. I don’t think the rage against Kroenke here is justified. He was just part of a group that thought they could make a fortune in football. I doubt that he was the mastermind behind it. All these Club owners are money maniacs and will always aim to take advantage of any opportunity. I don’t think it’s fair to single out one individual. I wish to reiterate that football or any other sport is motivated by money. There is no charity or philanthropy in professional sports.

    1. I think you are being too simplistic David

      The owners of all the clubs thought that the fans were an irrelevance in their plans to maximise profits and in the UK, completely underestimated Joe and Joanne Public’s relationship with their teams.

  9. The fact that our Owner and his Executives completely misjudged the reaction of fans just shows how out of touch they are .To them, history, tradition and competitive spirit means nothing ,whilst these values are treasured by fans.

  10. In legal terms if Arsenal (Stan Kroenke and KS&E) weren’t the perpetrators of this crime, they were complicit in aiding and abetting it.

    1. To me, in the end it was a kind of racism that brought Kroenke in against Usmanov. The white American goodie Kroenke vs the bad Russian Uzbek, Usmanov. In the end the colonialist Kroenke has colonized Holloway, and it turns out Kroenke is more like Mephistopheles, and is bringing Arsenal down to the gutter in many ways. Big Club? We are a Bad Club.

    2. The truth and nothing but the truth is Arsenal has become a poor football club under Kronk and anyone that says different is either lying or does not understand Arsenal or sport.

  11. “I did not start it sir, those bigger boys made me do it”! PATHETIC LIARS AND COWARDS!!!

    I can say hand on heart that “NO big boy” could ever force me to do something that I consider morally repugnant and I firmly believe many, even most, on here would say the same. If morality does not triumph over greed and gross riches every time, then you become a very little person indeed, IMO!


    If we do not cleanse our club of these people, or at the very least compel them to run things ethically and properly, to involve fans in some serious form of representation, then I am off for good.

    I believe PARLIAMENT will come up with something that forces them to behave and that MIGHT(or might not !) be our saviour. I will wait and make no VERY hurried decision, while I see signs of real and serious change.

    Some things in life are far more important then football and I for just one, never forget that! I believe a goodly number of fans will think similarly and they will not stand this stench much longer.

    Josh Kroenke is reported to have said on the fans zoom forum yesterday that KSE has learned its lesson and that proper investment will be forthcoming now. We shall see!

    Parliament (Tracey Crouch) has also set out firm guidelines for fan consultation that gives me serious hope for a favourable outcome, though nothing much ever happens quickly where the law is concerned. However , fingers crossed!

    1. Could not agree with you more about morals and Parliamentary action. I like you was so disgusted by the concept of ESL that I wanted to quit my 42 year association despite the fact that I am not 60 years yet. The worst thing is that it is only shelved not binned or incinerated.

      In fact, I heard an interview on Radio 5 live a couple of days ago and an eloquent girl said that football clubs should be protected for the community and the fans just like listed buildings.

      This would mean any owner, home or abroad (and this would include Dangote or anyone else willing to come in) would have to work within a framework of rules. One of these could be percentage dividends or salary caps.

  12. People should own up to the situation in sport today. It is a true reflection of unchecked global capitalism. This is a cancer which will eat into everything and anything. Kroenke and the Glazers just represent American capitalism just like Mansour represents petrol dollars and Abrahmovic represents Russian oligarch’s corruption. Even Dangote will behave no better than Kroenke! All those people are sharks seeking to maximize profits as they minimise costs. Whenever we bring up these issues those who are illiterate in economics and political economy call us simplistic but are we? To understand these issues properly one must have a good background of the above subjects. Wishful thinking and emotions can’t and will never replace knowledge in the said subjects. Therefore let us out emotions aside and reason from an informed position

    1. David, To answer your rhetorical question, there are indeed many on JA who have not the first idea of finance. As a regular on here for some years,I know that to be plainly true.

      But it is also true that multi billionaires are never cuddly people, suited to be social workers or childrens TV presenters. it is also true that SOME fabulously rich people are altruistic and philanthropic by deed. This is also plainly the case, so I do not believe in lumping together all very rich folk as corrupt and evil.

      Certainly Kroenke IS a low life and not someone I would ever wish to be company for a dinner party or such like. He is a bad person, no doubt at all.

      But Kroenke and his disgusting ilk are the result, not the prime cause, of the gross greed that has infected football for many decades and which gets worse each year. The game has been riding for a fall for a great many years and long before Kroenke became known to us. Now it has arrived, hastened by Covid and the need to keep making more money to pay ever increasing costs.

      And what are those costs? Why, none other than player wages,transfer fees and agents fees. Kroenke is not responsible for this greed; he is merely able to profit from it.

      UNTIL Covid, that is! Right now all top clubs are haemorrhaging money and owners are desperate for new income streams. Which does NOT in any way excuse the superleague idea but hurried the half baked proposal along, instead of it taking longer before being foisted on us all.
      This dismal episode is a wonderful chance – that I believe the game will take – to clean up and “defang” these ghastly peoples enormous power over we ordinary fans.
      This will soon be widely seen as a long overdue chance to reset the greed machine that infects all involved in top level football. Except the fans!

      OWNERS ARE GREEDY, PLAYERS ARE GREEDY, THEIR LEECH AGENTS ARE GREEDY AND WE MUG FANS HAVE BEEN THE HARD PRESSED PAYMASTERS. That is the price we pay for loving the game and our clubs. To even begin to turn the tide we must tacke the root cause of greed, which are obscene wages, including agents fees, and huge transfer fees.

      I hope and pray that GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION WILL RIDE TO OUR RESCUE,as I see no hope at all of these scummy owners making changes willingly. NONE AT ALL!

      The law must get involved and I think it will. If it fails to do so and we cannot change direction then the game Igrew up loving will die and I will no longer watch or follow it.


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