The Athletic’s David Ornstein spoke on Sky Sports today about the apology Arsenal director Josh Kroenke and CEO Vinai Venkatesham delivered in the fans’ forum on Thursday.
Arsenal announced themselves as founding members of the European Super League last Sunday. A storm of criticism flew their way and it only took about 48 hours before the club decided to withdraw from the rogue competition.
The Gunners issued an apology through an open letter on Tuesday and, both Venkatesham and Kroenke agreed to sit down with members of our supporters’ group to issue a personal apology.
To be fair to them, no other club involved in the Super League have come forward to do that. Ornstein believes that Arsenal deserve some credit for for their apology, but he has has claimed that the club were only sorry for the hurt they caused to the fans, not for saying yes to the rogue competition.
He said: “Arsenal fronted up last night. Their director, son of the owner, Josh Kronke and their chief executive, Vinai Venkatesham. I haven’t seen any other clubs front up yet, so, they should be applauded for their accountability on that front.
“What they said? Well, they apologised, like some of the other clubs involved have, unreservedly. But, they’re apologising for the hurt that has been caused, not because they didn’t think this was a good idea. Let’s get that clear!
“They all think that this was a good idea, they aren’t stupid people. They went into this with their eyes open and they thought they knew better than the fans.”
The Insider’s View:
As much as we think that the Super League is dead, the saga is nowhere near over. The way Arsenal and all the other clubs approached this was terrible, but don’t be surprised if the same thing happens in the future.
The Super League offers three times as much money as the current Champions League. The owners are businessmen who are only in the business to make money. They aren’t going to say no if another opportunity arises.
However, all the clubs will be a lot more aware of the potential backlash from fans. The owners know the power of supporters now – hopefully, they won’t forget that in the coming months and years.