Well, that was embarrassing.
After stunning us with the announcement that it was part of a new breakaway European Super League, Arsenal has executed a 180 degree turn and is now having nothing to do with the venture.
A tweet from the club said:
“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.“
I don’t know what’s more pathetic on the part of the British ‘breakaway’ clubs: their greed and betrayal in entering the thing in the first place or their abject cowardice in the face of the first wave of resistance.
It’s like declaring war on a neighbouring nation and sending your army over the border; then, when it turns out that the enemy has guns and soldiers too, you run away with your tail between your legs.
And as for this “as a result of listening to you” twaddle! Do you think we were born yesterday? What you really mean is: “…as a result of realising that we might be booted out of the Premier League and UEFA competitions, that we might face legislation from the Government, that we might be sued by the European Commission and that even the big TV corporations were saying they’d have nothing to do with us, we are withdrawing…“
If the six teams (and their European co-conspirators) had stuck to their guns we might not have liked it, but it would have demonstrated that they had made a serious decision about what they felt was best for their clubs’ financial future and were going to see it through.
Instead it shows that the Super League never had any substance beyond a bunch of wealthy football club owners seeing dollar signs in their imaginations. It was a paper tiger.
But it was a paper tiger we helped build. So now there should be consequences.
Ed Woodward, executive vice chairman of Manchester United, has already resigned; the president of Juventus looks to be on his way out; more heads will surely roll.
What does it mean for Arsenal?
A decision so massive – to abandon our traditional football structures and traditions to break out into a new international league – can only have been approved at the very highest level of our club, namely Stan Kroenke.
It was a serious misjudgement and speaks to a lack of understanding of the game we Brits invented and exported to the world. It has shown that Kroenke and his organisation are not fit owners of a club like Arsenal.
It’s a shame that fans are not currently allowed in stadiums because it’s surely time we all campaigned together to kick KSE out of Arsenal.
That’s the future. By fair or foul means. Dont let the spawn of the Devil, hide many thousands of miles away. Find a way to hit him in the pocket and shove his paper tiger down his throat.
Count me number one unless he puts 300 million on table for transfer not in words but in cash then we start putting MA on pressure to deliver trophies and league position. Come on buys Kroenke out Kroenke out Kroenke out
Lead our Revolution!
Thanks Rocky, another brilliantly written post.
This has got serious now with Kroenke and as such needs a serious approach to persuading him to leave. The screams of Kroenke out are valid and relevant but on it’s own sounds too much like a bunch of screaming kids throwing their toys out of the pram in a petulant rant. Kroenke will not care much about that and will just ride it out and wait for it to blow over.
A few years back I had a brief look at our worldwide fan base numbers and it was somewhere between 1500 to 2000 times more than that of our stadium capacity. Imagine that? For every worldwide Arsenal fan to visit THOF just once you would need to go through almost 2000 games.
That is a serious number. What we need primarily is all the various supporters trusts in every country and all the blog sites to put their name to one thing.
We need a carefully worded letter, made public, addressed to the Kroenkes to set out in a polite and concise way the history of this club and football history in general.
Kroenke needs to be told in this that he has dragged the good name of AFC through the mud and has shown no capacity to either understand or care about the traditions and history of the club and that he has brought both the game itself and the clubs name into disrepute and as such is unfit for purpose.
We request that at the earliest possibility that he facilitates the transfer of the club away from himself and KSE to a more suitable custodian. We request that this is done with minimal fuss or obstruction so as not to damage the name of this great club any further.
We need a forum so that every worldwide Arsenal fan that agrees with this can put their vote to a petition. If done correctly and, if as I suspect, the numbers will be astoundingly high, even Kroenke may realise that the game is up and it is better just to get what he can from it and walk away.
I would suggest that the AST take the lead in this but do it with the visible backing of every worldwide Arsenal supporters groups and all the blog sites, Twitter and Instagram sites, where we are well represented, as well as the overwhelming majority of the huge worldwide fan base.
I am very pleased that the Super League collapsed. Its a shame that our own A League is still running. Privately owned clubs by the rich and no promotion or relegation, thats the Australian A League and why so many peopel dont follow it. Its also one of the reasons we no longer have so many players plying their trade in Europe like the old days of Viduka, Kewell, Cahill, Schwarzer, Bosnich, Emerton, Neill etc. whilst we now have Ryan…
A closed private league does not work and is always going to fail. Lets hope that the critics of the Super League in Australia will now realise the hypocrisy of supporting the A League.
cheers everyone and brilliant posts Rocky
Outstanding. I think you should draft the letter!
Your usual brilliant style, GoonerB.
I’d still vote for Rocky as our Leader, sorry. You can be Press Secretary and speech writer….and I’d still enjoy throwing my toys out of the pram and at Kroenke!!
That’s a very British approach GoonerB – A Letter to the Owner
Didn’t work with Hitler, doubt it will with StanK.
Worth a try though
Don’t blame you for sticking with Rocky as leader LBG. I would rather be in charge of camels, refreshments, and entertainment and how you combine all 3.
Are you suggesting that GoonerB is Neville Chamberlain?
We need a Churchill. Sue gets my vote.
Outrageous! GoonerB is no appeaser, he is just a very naughty boy!
We need legally enforceable fan participation on football club boards. We should be pressing the government to make sure that it happens. We don’t want a return to the status quo.
That’s a good idea Gooner66
Hi Rocky, Guys,
The fans’ outrage and their feelings of betrayal were perfectly understandable that such a scheme was even considered.
However, I suggested that no one should commit Hari Kari because such schemes are intrinsically flawed because the instigators are also flawed.
You will all have heard the adage, ‘too many chiefs and not enough workers’. As rocky pointed out, this scheme would never have materialised without the agreement of the owners (chiefs), who will individually squabble to be the ‘overall leader’, and that sews mistrust with all the others.
Inevitably, that mistrust is symptomatic of an unstable project, and the first occasion a problem arises, the egos of such people ensures that none of them want to be seen as one of the ‘chiefs’ who failed the project and so they desperately look for the escape exit.
Heads will roll, but those will belong to the underlings, the scape goats who are expected to fall on their own knives.
Part TWO of this shambles will shortly commence, and probably get worse because the flawed FIFA, UEFA, and political opportunists will be added to the mix, and deals will be made so that the financial boat is not rocked too much, the fans will not be considered and the existing leagues will continue as before, but with an ‘adjustment’ so that extra money will butter the deals.
What did they say in those big crime movies? It’s nothing personal – it’s just business.
Under the German Football League [DFL] the 50+1 rule applies, so that football clubs will not be allowed to play in the Bundesliga if commercial/private investors have more than a 49 percent stake in any club.
By extension, this means that football fans, or their associations – will hold a majority of their own voting rights, because of the 50+1 rule — simples.
Debts and players wages are under the control of the fans, and that is why ticket prices also remain so low, compared to the other major leagues in Europe.
Come on all you FA/political ‘genius’s 🙄 – get busy and change the law.
Sue is lovely — and looks nothing like Churchill – you are the very naughty boy – not the equally lovely GB. 🤥
Excellent analysis Redders.
The German model is far superior. It would take quite a strong grass roots movement with support from the Government to see it enforced here.
This could be a key time to agitate for the ‘German’ rule as fans are already really angry, and all the fans of the so-called “Big Six” as well as the fans of the other 14 Premier League clubs who would see this as way of all clubs achieving equal status in the future.
No, the problem will be to get the FA and/or the Government to see a political opportunity, because all the opposition parties would be trying to score a point if they did not follow this through, it just needs enough fans spread the word initially.
Get writing guys!
Very rarely agree with journalist A Dunn, but believe, until we get rid of American leeches, we should never use the “Big Six” phrase. Firstly because ‘we’ (they) have been a disgrace ourselves and secondly, because Totteringham are included in the six!!
Pursuing the German system, ALL the current owners would be ‘subservient’ to the 51% of the fans who would then control the clubs.
None of the current owners would want that, and would bail of their own accord.
[Not all Americans are leeches.]
Of course not! No offence to all the learned Americans on this site.
Everyone knows that RA. In fact one of the most encouraging things was how the Arsenal USA fans group condemned Kroenke. You yourself have expressed your dislike of the Kroenke regime for a long while, even before others born in Gillespie Road realised what he was about.
Anyway your an honorary brit. I have annointed you so in my capacity as entertainment, refreshment and camel activity chairman.
I trust that other clubs and fans recognise that this was about arrogant greedy owners not the fans themselves of these clubs. In fact it was the fans anger and protest of the 6 as much as anything else that has stopped this.
As abhorrent as this was I hope that it is not used as an opportunity for a power grab from the other end. By that I mean other clubs trying to seize a greater proportion of the finances away from the traditionally bigger clubs.
While many reforms are long overdue domestically and with FIFA and UEFA it has to be recognised that English clubs are now structured in a way that makes one very different from the other in terms of overheads and debt.
I do think that more than most other leagues the EPL does filter down finances quite fairly. All clubs contribute to the league and without them you dont have this exciting league which is perhaps why smaller clubs get a higher percentage of the TV rights revenue than they would be able to generate themselves.
A simple model would be to say if a televised game between a bigger and smaller club were televised and you charged everyone tuning in £1 to watch it but they had to state which club they supported and only the money from your own fans was taken by each club then I think the smaller club would get less than they proportionally do now on a game to game basis.
If there is too much if a push for that to happen you will just strengthen the resolve to try this kind of breakaway again and, if the grab from the other end was looking like it was going ahead, it may get more support next time.
Reform is needed but I think caution is needed not to try and turn this episode on its head and go for a similar smash and grab raid from the other end.
This is a temporary setback for the respective owners of the 12 clubs. As long as they are still in power, they have every chance to renew this breakaway attempt in the future. Furthermore, they are obviously backed by the financial “behemoth”, JP Morgan Chase (with assets of over US$3 trillion/ £2.16 trillion). They are known to have controversies throughout their history.
The respective governments and FAs of European countries have to step in, pass new laws and regulations on the owners (if they comply, they stay otherwise, they would be forced to exit) and whatever deterrence against investment banks for “instigating chaos”. The fans has to come together and voice out. Two prong approach.
From Bloomberg news: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-19/jpmorgan-bets-4-8-billion-on-disrupting-world-s-biggest-sport
“The clubs have committed to remaining part of the Super League for a set number of years, according to people with knowledge of the agreement. That binding agreement was a key driver behind JPMorgan’s investment, the people added. The financing from JPMorgan has been set at an interest rate of between 2% and 3%, and set over a 23-year time frame, one of the people added.
A spokesperson for JPMorgan declined to comment. The European Super League did not respond in time for publication.
The prospect of the most profound shakeup to European soccer since the precursor to the Champions League was established in 1955 sent shares in top teams Juventus Football Club S.p.A. and Manchester United Plc soaring. ”
“JPMorgan’s links to landmark deals in the sport stretch back almost 20 years. In 2003, it advised the American Glazer family on its purchase of Manchester United FC. It went on to work on the club’s initial public offering almost a decade later. Manchester United has signed up as a founding member of the Super League, and its vice chairman Ed Woodward is a former JPMorgan banker.
In recent years, the bank advised Rocco Commisso, the Italian-American owner of Mediacom LLC, on his purchase of Serie A team ACF Fiorentina, and U.S. billionaire Dan Friedkin on his takeover of AS Roma. It has also helped FC Internazionale Milano and Roma sell bonds backed by future media revenue, and Spain’s Real Madrid raise funds to refurbish its iconic Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
“I’m not surprised that a bank like JPMorgan is gearing up its European sports activity,” said Nikhil Bahel of the sports investment group Elysian Park Ventures. Bahel said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has left many teams and leagues financially exposed. “There is a realization here in Europe that the current financing model for these bodies needs to be revisited.”
The U.S. investment bank’s role is vital as it gives the Super League the financial cover to put billions of euros in guaranteed broadcast rights on the line so the clubs can attempt to earn greater revenues via the new league.”
Also, previously (in 2016), “Stan Kroenke to borrow $1B for his L.A. stadium project.”
“Stan Kroenke plans to borrow about $1 billion from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to help finance his $2.6 billion NFL stadium project in Inglewood, California.
The loan, which would be made to the stadium’s operating company, would be one of the largest ever made by a financial institution for a stadium project, SportsBusiness Daily reports.
Sports and media magnate Kroenke, who also owns the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, last week won National Football League approval to move his St. Louis Rams to the Los Angeles area. The team will play in temporary quarters for a few years until the Inglewood stadium is ready.
Kevin Demoff, Rams president, confirmed that the Rams were borrowing from JPMorgan but declined to give further details.”
It would be nice if the government could quickly pass laws through that protect the football institution and its constituent members, but you do have to ask why they had to wait for the crisis before they roused themselves when the warning signs have been there for a long while.
What powers could the government have to provide protection that couldn’t be overturned in a court of law. It’s easy to implement protection if you set it out that way from the start, as the German clubs have, but trying to wrestle some control away from owners that have bought in legally under legitimate free market rules could be difficult to implement despite all their bluster.
Can they force new laws on the legal owners of clubs that the fans can suddenly have a percentage of control or say? I’m not so sure.
I think what they could do quickly would be to make every football ground a listed building that would have to go through extensive processes should an individual try and do something different with it.
They could also state the importance of football clubs in the fabric of our society is such that they are henceforth bringing all clubs under some sort of national heritage protection status, again making it difficult to radically change its function or mode of operation.
They also need to pass laws that dont allow any individual to raise debts against the assets of these nationally important institutions so that any prospective owner needs to raise funds from alternative sources. This is a bit after the lord mayors show with some clubs but it’s never too late.
I’m not sure beyond this what else could be done that would stand up legally or even if any of these suggestions could hold up in a court of law.
Carry the torch man!
With RA on this one 100%.
There has to be some oversight, and what better way than with fans.
The American way, never works, the rich always get richer in sports and skirt the rules. (Look up luxury tax in nbA)
If the EPL did not get all the Mbappe’s of the world would that be so bad?
barcA and reaL deserve to go bk, and can’t wait for the day, they cannibalized their own leagues for an absolute monopoly on $.
ksE is subhuman, but as GoonerB said, unless there is some other custodian or as RA stated, governmental oversight put in place, the fans will be in for a long slow death of AFC.
So, the real question who is going to watch the Everton match?
Hi GB — from your appointed Honorary Brit; – thank you; 😉
It is a bit difficult to argue legal points where existing contextual matters can be key, but it is far more difficult to do so where hypothetical matters are the subject of discussion, and neither of us are lawyers.
I believe, however, that the UK Government has stated that they are considering appointing an “independent overseer” after the ESL had imploded, altho I think that might fall foul of FIFA regulations that Governments must not intervene in football matters within its jurisdiction.
You know, acting as ‘devils advocate’ I think we are all outraged by what nearly happened, but we have not had the time to think thru other related matters that show some of the protests have been just a little odd.
For example, I clearly recall Chelsea and Man City fans being thrilled when their clubs were taken over, by a Russian billionaire and a Gulf state respectively, amid promises that money would be poured into (then) financially compromised clubs. Yaaay — went those fans as a billion pounds sterling was used to buy top players, and signalled the beginning of monstrous salaries, and breaches of the Fair Play Rules that were meant to stop clubs spending money that was not earned.
UEFA subsequently caved on the FFP rules when confronted by some of the top lawyers brought in by the clubs involved.
Where was the outrage then? And it seems Newcastle fans cannot wait to be taken over by the Saudis, and their money. Outrage? I think not.
Other multi-millionaires have bought other Premier League clubs over the years, and now they seemed to be moaning about the 6 ESL clubs and their greed, but to a fan looking on, that might have been sour grapes because they had not been invited to join the 6 group and get a bite of the extra profits envisaged. Who knows.
I mentioned the rules of the German DFL, this morning, and in retrospect, if they could set out their rules for being eligible to play in their league, (the 50+1 stakeholders), then I cannot see any reason why the Premier League cannot do so as well.
That would slice thru the nonsense at one fell swoop.
However, my money, if I had any, would be on UEFA and the ‘Big’ clubs snuggling up, and making a deal for a new competition when the CL starts to decline, as it will.
With the authority of UEFA it would be hard to stop it.
Would it be fair to say JP Morgan Chase were big players in the hedge fund steal of a little way back?
Wouldnt it also be fair to say there will be a payback due to Morgan Stanley in terms of default and you can bet who will be paying that longterm?
All the knobs are making their apologies now. Profound but I suspect insincere if they get a chance to go again in different form!! Agree with comment elsewhere today, it was only greed that sold the soul of our Clubs to businessmen from different countries. Legislation, if it was possible, against in the future. Figure out our own German model. Put caps on player sales and wages and start listening to us, the real “owners” of the Clubs.
That in 2012. Enron. WorldCom. Madoff fraud. And more.
They could spark “a WWIII in European football” if they wanted.
Brilliant piece Rocky.
To say the club got it wrong is an understatement, interesting that Levy said what his thought process was, be in it to win it or more precisely be in it to get the money and expressed their reasons for joining the thing was driven by their need not to be left out of it did actually happen. Also Levy’s job is currently to find the highest bidder for Spuds so not being in the thing would surely have cost his owner that.
I have to think there were similar thought processes at KSE, but more over protecting an already highly valued asset than increasing its value.
So what the cost. When Kroeber bought the remaining shares it valued Arsenal at £1.8bn thankfully Kroenke did not acquire all shares at that price so he may be inclined to an offer if he can get himself out if his situation is made untenable.
But who why when? That is the question.
There are lots of benefits to fan ownership, but with the examples quoted there are issues:
– Germany 50+1. This hasn’t stopped Bavarian Munich winning the German League for the past 8 seasons back to back.
Munich have a cushy sponsorship deal with Adidas and of course get the spoils from the Champions League
– Royal Madrid & Barcelona. They are owned by their members or socios. This hasn’t stopped vast overspending by their boards and huge debt loaded on the clubs.
They too reap enormous benefits from the Champions League.
There needs to be parity across Europe with the rules, but as we know all Uefa are interested in is feathering their own nests. This will never happen as long as they are in charge.
I’d be happy with parity across England.
Agreed, but there needs to be a place to start.
There was another post on here about the league with the most different champions, might have been the French before psG. Investigate why that league was competitive and take some of those ideas which helped transform it.
Maybe some sort of revenue sharing platform that helps level the playing field, along with true player salary caps, if we want a competitive league, however maybe not the best.
Mikel ” do you feel let down by the Ownership?”
“No I feel supported by everyone at the Club…”
Well Mikel, we feel let down, betrayed, abused and treated like we are not important in terms of either the Club’s history or the future. Things cannot just “go back to normal”, because contempt is not something most fans will forget.
So Arsenal fans forum with Josh Kroenke was pretty eventful if nothing, at this point, that wasnt predicted by such as Rasp.
Asked many searching questions, with implications that he and his father do not understand English football.
No intention to sell, feel they can regain confidence of fans ( pie in the sky!!)
Only useful comment to me, they will pay ” costs/fines of withdrawing”.
UK Government announces terms of reference for fan-led review of football.
The Government has published its Terms of Reference for the fan-led review of football, to be chaired by Tracey Crouch MP.
How to deal with Kroenkes
” I would set up an Advisory Board – fan based- alongside the Executive Board to provide details of what the fans want”
More from Josh Kroenke
” The global Arsenal fan wants Arsenal v Barca as often as possible. You still want cold nights in Stoke.”
The global Arsenal fan does not control our Club, Mr patronising Kroenke and we will not stop until you are bored with Briitish sport, take your ball and run off home.