Arsenal officially apologise to fans over ESL – “We Heard You”

Wow, what a couple of days of mayhem we have had, and the incredible backlash that Arsenal and the rest of the so-called “Big Six” have generated, it appears that the Arsenal Board has quickly backed down and withdrawn from the European Super League plans.

The Gunners have made it clear that they have listened to the fans, and now fully aware that it was a massive mistake to underestimate the anger from football fans all over England.

This is the statement issued by the club yesterday…..

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR FANS

The last few days have shown us yet again the depth of feeling our supporters around the world have for this great club and the game we love.

We needed no reminding of this but the response from supporters in recent days has given us time for further reflection and deep thought.

It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future. 

As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.

We know it will take time to restore your faith in what we are trying to achieve here at Arsenal, but let us be clear that the decision to be part of the Super League was driven by our desire to protect Arsenal, the club you love, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability.

Stability is essential for the game to prosper and we will continue to strive to bring the security the game needs to move forward.

The system needs to be fixed. We must work together to find solutions which protect the future of the game and harness the extraordinary power football has to get us on the edge of our seats.

Finally, we know this has been hugely unsettling at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all. 

Our aim is always to make the right decisions for this great football club, to protect it for the future and to take us forward. We didn’t make the right decision here, which we fully accept.

We have heard you.

The Arsenal Board


 

Will the fans be able to forgive and forget as quickly as the Board backtracked?

 

27 Comments

  1. Declan says:

    Yes I forgive Arsenal Football Club but I do not forgive Kroenke for putting us through all this. I believe there is a demo planned for Friday at the Emirates to get him out of our club. #KroenkeOut!

    1. jon fox says:

      THERE IS NO REASON TO FORGIVE AFC as they did nothing wrong. It was Kroenke alone who forced this on us. He is the poisonous snake and he is the one we must destroy! Kroenke is not our club ; he is merely the legal owner! For the time being.

  2. Wyoming says:

    But what has actually been achieved,?What has changed for the better?
    The league is still awash with oil money and foreign billionaires own most of the clubs. Club managers are mostly non English. The best players are foreign. Players are still costing mega millions to buy and are on obscene salaries. The League is dominated by the same 6-8 clubs who also always win the domestic cups and play in Europe. While the other 12 clubs rotate in the relegation zone all season.
    So the club has cleverly got the fans to approve the present system. So the fans have actually rubber stamped the present top 8 English super league. Thanks a lot you gullible but naive and easily fooled fans.

    1. Kobin says:

      If you don’t want to watch football and are interested in the Superleague, I guess you go watch another game then..

    2. Beastmode says:

      Wyoming, so you have problems with the foreign players and coaches? I understand the issue about the influx of foreign money but I don’t get your point about the players and coaches.

    3. Uchman says:

      A wigan athletic have won the fa cup , a leciester city have won the league and a birmingham city have won the league cup in recent years, are they among the 1-8 super teams?

    4. Declan says:

      Wyoming, man, the status quo is far better than the proposed ESL. We can now move on and improve the current situation.

    5. guy says:

      Wy my friend, for once I disagree with you. First priority is that something has NOT been achieved. An attempted coup has been thwarted that would have changed us forever into a type of Euro NFL.
      Foreign players and staff make us a global league and not only have our own players developed hugely because of them, but I also welcome them for the variety and ideas they bring.
      Our current setup is NOT an absolute monopoly as SL would be. Not only are other clubs eg Leicester, Everton, edge closer year by year to becoming regular top 6, but others eg Spurs, Arsenal threaten to fall out of it. Compare anyway with Spain (2) France (1) Germany (2) Italy (3), I don’t think 6 is so monopolistic in comparison!
      We have an opportunity now to change which I think will happen.
      1) FA and Govt legislation to ensure as in Germany 51% fan ownership. This is doable, not dependent on any European intervention. If we can nationalise industries we can certainly manage this.
      2) Revamp Eufa – corrupt and inefficient. Make it more open and accountable and try new ideas. There is surely a will in Europe to do this and EUFA has been shaken by SL, they know they have to change.
      3) A euro salary cap that is affordable to sustain football. Again, we see the debt. Surely every club must agree. Players will still be rich, but their power and that of agents MUST be reined in, or they will no longer have a game to play.

      1. Reggie says:

        Guy, good post but i do think this all falls at the clubs (especially the ones trying to get the renegade league up) door. They are the ones that have greedy manipulative owners, who have allowed the wages and tranfer fees to balloon out of control. To counteract that they wanted to bring in an even crappier system, cream off more money and increase everything financially so that in 10 years time, they would have to do exactly the same to cover the debts that would have ballooned even more. The club owners that know nothing about football and its traditions are the leeches and scurge of football and need to be shafted back to their holes that they came from.

    6. siamois says:

      The reasons you gave are why the PL is so successful best foreign players/managers billionaire owners…you talk about a top 8 teams league 10 years ago it used to be the big 4 then it became the big 6 today it is 8 teams fighting for CL add to that Leicester winning the PL each season the gap is closing and the PL gets more competitive i would call that progress even if it is slow wouldn’t you?

  3. Marty says:

    How about the clubs and EUFA now listen to the fans views on other things like the scandalous money and power that agents have, the pricing of tickets and season tickets and shirts, the exhorbitant salaries that players get now, the fact that fans have to subscribe to various TV channels to watch their team, that matches and kick off times are changed at the whim of the TV companies thereby inconveniencing the very people they say they listen to. I doubt if any of this will happen

    1. ken1945 says:

      But Marty, the choice is yours on everything you mentioned isn’t it?
      Of course we are getting ripped off, fans of every sport are.
      But this is what happens in a democracy – free choice on how to spend our money.
      If we want The Arsenal to remain a top club, then we have to compete in the market place, where players are rewarded with obscene salaries.

      1. Angry Norwegian says:

        But, how can we compete in these obscene salaries if the owner dont want to throw money at the club? when was a last big signing?

        also we have to stop using wing backs, since the biggest weakpoint we have is the defence,.

      2. jon fox says:

        KEN, Have you never thought that there is no law written in stone that players have to receive obscene salaries for ever more ? I have thought aboutit and believe a salary cap is inevitable if the game is to survive AND be solvent.

        Also a form of fan representation in all key club decisions must be enabled. Government ministers are saying this is being seriously considered, even planned. HASTEN THE DAY IT BECOMES LAW as footballs saviour.

        Football has been on the road to financial ruin since the PREM BEGAN, AS EVER INCREASING COSTS CAN NO LONGER BE BORNE BY ORDINARY FANS. THIS IS WHY THIS IMMORAL SCAM WAS PLANNED. The way to change this for good is a salary cap. Or kiss the long term future goodbye.

        I will be expending on this and the games future in an article this week.

  4. Kobin says:

    Alright now let UEFA match the funds that the SL was proposing. They should

    1. Increase the price money of participating in the CL and the EL. Change the format much quicker before 23/24 season.

    2. Create the UEFA conference league so that teams 8 to 10 would also share in European money.

    3. And put their foot down in issued like racism and breaking FF play rules. They should be strict with those. Any club that breaks the rules shoukd face severe sanctions, bans and point deductions.

    Else, if they slack again, the ugly head of the SL will arise again. And who knows whst would happen then!

  5. Davi says:

    If anyone is interested in fairness of competition, rather than just protecting the EPL and bigger leagues, how about looking at qualification for European and international cups? Why should champions from smaller league’s have to qualify while 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams in England and Spain either not qualify or have an easier time of it? That might spread some of this money more fairly and actually increase competition.
    Similarly at international level- why not have a fair draw for the qualification rounds, rather than a weighted one so the same teams qualify over and over?

    1. SueP says:

      Davi
      Your remarks remind me of the FA Cup

      It would be ridiculous for Arsenal to draw any at the bottom of the pile in round one. The smaller clubs fight amongst themselves until the strongest remaining get the possibility of taking on a top club.

      The important factor is that the lowliest clubs still have the right to compete and get the chance to do so.

      1. Davi says:

        It’s a good point Sue but I don’t think it’s the same at “top” and international level.

        The way I see it, the champions of Poland and their league rivals might become a more attractive proposition to certain players, which would make them more competitive in Europe over time (that’s not going to happen with the fa cup)

        IMO We effectively have a super League already; it’s much larger, but still controlled by limiting competition to ensure that the bigger clubs/footballing nations always get access to the biggest cups and it consolidates the money.

  6. PJ-SA says:

    Right ok so I’m glad that’s over.

    Now we are still left with Uefa and FIFA’s ongoing corruption, breach of human rights etc.

    Can we work on tackling that in the same way?

  7. Grandad says:

    Very well said Marty.Every cloud has a silver lining and perhaps the collapse of the SL will act as a watershed not only for UEFA to get their act together but to bring some realism to those involved in negotiations with players and in particular the parasites who live off them, their “agents” The time has come to resist demands from agents for huge wage increases for players who are already over paid and enjoy a privileged life style.As fans we too have an important role to play to curb and finally eradicate the greed which has infested our Clubs.This may not go down well, but we fans need to lower our expectations in terms of our Clubs creating a future dynasty.Competition in the EPL is such that one Club is unlikely to dominate the scene for the foreseeable future .Fans have to accept that and be more realistic and tolerant in their demands for their Club to acquire big name players at exorbitant prices The owners of the so called “big six” have had a rude awakening and will hopefully learn from their ignorance and lack of appreciation of what football actually means to true fans who have learned to love the game like their Fathers before them.Real Madrid and Barcelona are pleading poverty caused by their own financial incompetence to satisfy the needs of the likes of Bale to name but one Like every other professional Club they will have to learn to live within their means and their fans will be obliged to live in the real World and not in some fantasy kingdom where the money trees abound.As to our Owner, he and his fellow billionaires have completely misjudged the reaction of the most important people in the game.I can forgive my Club but I will never forgive our current Owner for tarnishing our great history.

    1. ken1945 says:

      Grandad, PLEASE don’t take this personally, but were you so judgemental when those within your industry (banking) were awarding themselves enormous salaries, onuses and pension schemes?
      I’ve yet to come across a single senior executive in the banking industry who has suffered… along with politicians I might add.

    2. jon fox says:

      Grandad, Very well said. Unlike my pal KEN, who appears to think that the obscene salaries are set in stone for perpetuity, I am sure that the only route out of this remorseless greed from players and agents is for salary caps at PREM and Championship level.
      This will now happen I firmly believe, after media interviews with Oliver Dowden , the sports minister and the PM’s early statement when this superleague idea first broke.

      Frankly, Grandad it has been obvious for decades that unless a form of enforced wage control is brought in, then the game cannot go on living beyond its means.
      There are of course no excuses for thse grubby owners secretly doing what they tried to do. BUT, it cannot be sensibly denied that fan pressure to constantly bring in better and more expensive players has forced SOME owners to look for other income sources.

      We are all guilty of condoning these obscene wage hikes and most of us have wilfully turned blind eyes for decades already, as I have mentioned many times on JA when calling for wage restraint. It will now be legislated, I believe, and we must all continue fan pressure on our politicians to hasten a change in the law to hasten its inception.

      Some form of fan consultation of key changes before they happen will also be needed and I predict will come on board fairly soon. What Kens post was suggesting is that many in society , outside football, are also greedy. I AGREE WITH HIM ON THAT AND THUS MANY OF US ARE GUILTY, ALBEIT IN A LESS TAWDRY WAY THAN THIS SUPERLEAGUE.

  8. Sean Williams says:

    What is clear is Arsenal need love. We have come from loving owners to being part of a global sports franchise which has meant Arsenal have an owner with VESTED interest and too many clubs. A loveless scenario. That’s worse than placing bets on games. It brings all sorts of moral, ethical, and criminal issues to the fore. There is NO doubt that supporters should own a percentage of their club particularly with the dangers of a megalomaniac owner like Kroenke. WE should own Arsenal. Kroenke must be gone one way or another. Supporters are the BLOOD of football. The SOUL of football, not a sports pervert like KROENKE. Boycott Arsenal games, to get shut of the leech Stan Kroenke. It should be illegal to own multiple sports franchises whether British or American. It’s a recipe for no felt love of Arsenal and a recipe to be an emotional second to the LA rams for ever. KROENKE OUT!

    1. Yossarian says:

      Legality will never come into protecting the things football fans hold dear. All the toffs that own Britain don’t care about that. They only care about maintaining their position at the top of the pile and continually consolidating their wealth & power. The same kind of toffs that enabled Kroenke to buy Arsenal in the first place for the same reasons.

      1. jon fox says:

        A cynical, wrong and prejudiced post that reveals your own political bias! “Toffs” is a word that shows prejudice against those who are well brought up, rich, well educated and many of whom have huge responsibilities in running companies or are in Parliament etc. I PREFER NOT TO LUMP PEOPLE TOGETHER IN SUCH A SILLY WAY BY USING WORDS LIKE “TOFFS”. Using that word says far more about you personally than perhaps you are even aware.

  9. Grandad says:

    Ken, I was absolutely appalled at what happened in the Banking industry to such an extent that I was delighted to take up the offer of early retirement which was offered to a number of Managers who were hostile to changes which were foisted upon us by unscrupulous chancers .James Crosby ,ex Halifax, and Fred( the shred) Goodwin (RBS) were both openly denounced and in the case of Crosby ,I think he had to renounce his MBE and part of his pension pot.They deserved all the flak aimed at them as do the owners and Board members of the ” dirty dozen” which includes Arsenal.

  10. Sid says:

    Great development. Although I had no problems with the ESL, I recognize that it was merely a case of what I wanted vs what was needed. The situation would have developed iñto a much more complex prospect than Arsenal vs Real twice a season, lol. That said, why do I feel that Arsenal have only acted on a fear of missing out by withdrawing from the ESL like their EPL counterparts? Just like how they claim they were induced into joining and founding it? IMO the owner should issue a statement atleast.

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