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.