Arteta: Fan outrage at Super League gives ‘the strongest message’

Mikel Arteta says supporters gave ‘the strongest message’ in the history of football by opposing plans for a breakaway European Super League.

Arsenal were one of the six Premier League sides who agreed to join on Sunday evening.

But following intense backlash from pretty much everyone involved in the game, the proposals were shelved on Tuesday.

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Arsenal, alongside the rest of the ‘Big Six’, opted to leave and quickly sent out a statement to their fans.

The Gunners’ statement was praised for acknowledging their misjudgement and for apologising to supporters.

When asked if he had received an apology from owner Stan Kroenke, Arteta said: “Yes, absolutely.

“They [the owners] have the maximum responsibility to run the football club and what they said was: ‘apologies for disturbing the team, we did it without the capacity to communicate in a different way earlier and pass on my message to the players’ – that is all you can ask for.

“I found out just a little bit before the news was leaked. And then everything was completely out of control and the world reacted in a really unified manner.

“There was not really time to think about it, reflect and evaluate or anything because by the time that was out, a big tsunami already came onto it and basically killed it.

“Vinai [Venkatesham, chief executive] spoke to me and explained a little bit what was happening. He was very clear and transparent with me. I understand the reasons why we could not know. We were not involved in the decision.”

Arteta thinks the speedy backtracking from Premier League clubs shows how important football is to the fans.

He continued: “I think this has given big lessons and it shows the importance of football in the world.

“And it shows that the soul of this sport belongs to the fans – and that’s it. During this pandemic, for a year, we have been trying to sustain this industry with no fans in the stadium.

“But, when the fans have to come out and talk, they’ve done it really loud and clear, and they sent probably the strongest message that has ever been sent in the football world.

“And every club, leaving their interests apart, has done the right thing – which is, they are the ones [the fans], we have to listen to them, we put it aside and in 24 hours we kill the project.

“So that is a massive statement for the history of football.”

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