“I do not recognise my club” Henry speaks about Arsenal’s ESL involvement

Thierry Henry says he was surprised that Arsenal involved themselves with the proposed European Super League, but he is happy that fans fought to take their club back.

Arsenal was one of the founding members of the suspended competition and it was embarrassing that they consider themselves a big club on the same level as Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Especially because they haven’t qualified for the Champions League since 2017.

Henry says the club has been run like a business for a long time now and he didn’t expect what happened.

He doesn’t know if it was because of greed motivated by the money they would make or if it was a lack of understanding of the core football values by the owners of Arsenal.

He is, however, proud of the fans around the world who fought so hard to ensure that their teams are not involved in a closed shop competition.

Henry told the Telegraph those involved got it ‘badly wrong’. 

He said: ‘I do not recognise my club and what happened just now, with them trying to join a league that would have been closed, makes no sense to me. They have been running the club like a company, not a football club, and they showed their hand.

‘Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of the core football values and maybe the money was too big of a temptation. Whatever it was, they got it wrong. Badly wrong.

‘I was genuinely shocked like most people and couldn’t believe what was unfolding. I have never talked before, but what happened recently made me realise fans, this is your club. It is your club and I’m an Arsenal fan too.

‘I’m proud of what the fans achieved. Not just Arsenal fans, all the fans. The result was a victory for football.’

Tags Thierry Henry


  1. Either kroenke sells now and out of AFC or remains on one condition buy world class players this summer and win the EPL or UCL and make us great once again the way we used to be before Kroenke came period! Failure to that “It’s time to goooooooo “🤔

    1. Henri was offered the youth coaching job at Arsenal but turned his nose up at the offer. Instead he took a high profile job on TV. Then he went and failed at mega rich Monaco and after that lasted just one season in Canada. Now he is trying to ingratiate himself with Arsenal fans by talking about values?
      Should go manage at Luton for 3 years and work his way up

  2. He has a right to choose any job he is offered. Most people would take the highest paid and highest profile job

    1. He definitely has that right but you don’t do this and turn around and say that football isn’t a business. You don’t go for “the highest paid and highest profile job” and begrudge investors (club owners) who want to make money.

  3. “They have been running the club like a company, not a football club”.

    Football is a big business and clubs are companies. Players are signed for and paid millions of pounds. Club owners aren’t running the clubs for charity but to make profit. Fans should stop this whole narrative that football is not a business. It is and will remain so.

  4. I have been reading all the noise about the ESL from the sidelines without commenting. However, all I have seen from fans (Arsenal and the other clubs) is a the hypocrisy that has been the bane of football since the mid 2000s. The driving factor behind the proposed ESL is the unsustainable spending of the big clubs. Many are unhealthy (especially Barcelona and Madrid) and need more money to keep up.

    The only financially responsible coaches (in the last decade) in terms of spending in the 12 member clubs is Wenger and Pochetino (and AC Millan coaches for the lack of money). Wenger was hounded by the media and described as miserly; Arsenal and other fans abused him for what should have earned him praise. The reckless Mourinho was praised. Reckless spenders like Barcelona, Madrid and City were described as “ambitious”. Wenger cried out and said that football lives in a “bubble” that would burst but he was labelled a “whinger”. We have seen clubs like Ajax and Dortmund who run healthy administrations no longer able to compete because the big money bags have out-muscled them.

    As I write, many fans on this platform are still calling for hundreds of millions of signings rather than asking that football reign in on reckless spending. Without financial doping, Wenger is miles, heads and shoulders above the likes of Mourinho. But guess who doping has bought the respect and admiration of the media and fans? Mourinho. Club owners are investors and no matter what you think should make profit on their investment (City and PSG are used for promotional purposes). It is not for the “love of football” that owners buy clubs but to make money. That is a very legitimate reason to own a club and no one should begrudge them. Why would an American come thousand of miles to England just to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on a club just to make you happy? Are there no better things to do with his money? All of us want a return on our investment. If they spend millions to sign superstars and pay the wages they command, it is logical that they make the money back plus the profits. We heard during Sanchez and Ozil contract renewals fans say “pay them whatever they demand” (though they all turned around when the Ozil hate became fashionable to blame Wenger for his contract). ESL is to achieve that purpose.

    Football needs to do a soul searching. The football community created ESL. Not Perez. Not Agnelli. Not Henry. Not the Glazers. Not Levy. You cannot support financial irresponsibility, glorify those whose success is built on it, vilify those whose frugality kept clubs healthy , and then turn around and dislike the results. Principles make institutions. If financial recklessness is good (as the football community has upheld for a long time) then we have to accept ESL. It is morality reprehensible to to uphold two diametrically opposed principles.

    1. Just Arsenal moderator – you should turn this TH14-TW14’s comment into an article. Too many talking points to let it wallow as just a comment.

    2. That was a heck of a post and almost too much to take in at once

      Your last paragraph was particularly important to me. I come from a generation of football supporter that has seen the transition from well paid pros to vastly wealthy young men who live in an atmosphere so rarified and so different from the people that support the clubs that pay them.
      Every year the wealth of the few grows in this hideous race for supremacy in the league to the point that the game itself has been hi jacked just to pay them.
      It does need sorting out and is long overdue

  5. Noble indeed but I have to take Henry’s comments with a grain of salt, knowing full well that he did jump ship for Barcelona and that were he playing today he wouldn’t have hesitated to take up a contract with one of the ESL clubs. His asking price would definitely have put him up there with the top five earners.

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