In any business sometimes you have to shake off a short-term loss to benefit in the long term. So, while Robbie Lyle will be aware that Troopz moving to America means he’s lost a route to subscribers, it gives him a chance to take his channel back to basics.
A man had a vision to record fans speaking after each game. Not only has it grown into a business which attracts sponsors, he has changed the lives of people he has met.
While Troopz’s delivery isn’t my cup of tea, it’s hard to begrudge a man who, before AFTV, was on hard times, but has now been given a platform to better himself and his family.
Yet while those involved have benefited, the YouTube channel has divided opinion among the fan base, and regularly gets commented on as a reflection of how fickle supporters have become.
Once upon a time maybe you could argue any publicity was good publicity. Yet with advertisers to appease, your image is crucial, especially with the world in a sensitive time.
While a pioneer in the Fan-led content, AFTV was in danger of becoming the Katy Hopkins of their genre. Getting views based on someone saying something controversial but not because your product is enjoyable. That’s a model you can’t sustain forever.
Losing two ‘regulars’ in the space of a couple of months gives AFTV a chance to get back to its roots.
Their host always preached they were a voice to all gooners, not simply recycling characters they created. It wasn’t that these personalities had outgrown the station, but by growing brands themselves on social media, they were suddenly acting based on trends. It made their opinions less organic.
Were we hearing their true point of view or was it self-interest? For example, I will never forget Arsenal scoring against Wolves and Troopz, instead of celebrating, glaring at the camera and nodding before pointing to the back of his shirt with his own surname on the back.
It was a fascinating social observation. A man who had got a following online now believed in his own hype. He was acting like he had proven doubters wrong, that Arsenal winning or losing was his doing.
I’m not criticising. It’s a natural human reaction but it was also not what AFTV was meant to be about…
I like DT, think he’s honest in his appraisal of the team. Yet he gave Robbie a wakeup call in a debate pre-Community Shield. With Troopz shouting over them, Liverpool fans tried to have their voices heard – to which DT said: ‘There’s a reason I’m sat here and you’re in the audience’. Essentially, he was saying his opinion held more weight due to his rise in fame. There’s something really unlikable about that comment.
He’s been able to make a living off the right to express his opinion. When he was verbally abusing Mr Wenger, he said that was his right. So, he can question the greatest manager in our history, but he feels his opinion is worth more than other fans?
Think about that…
So, while as a friend Robbie will be sad not to be working with his mate Troopz, professionally it’s a chance to rebrand his creation and fix its image.
It may be his last chance to make it the voice of Arsenal fans that he advertised…