That was the most dramatic 48 hours in football. Fortunately the European Super League has been stopped in it’s tracks. The six billionaire owners overplayed their hand completely underestimating the reaction from the media, the government the future King of this country and most of all the fans. I felt so proud when I saw fans all over the country show their fury at the six owners.
After 55 years as a match going fan I was fully prepared to let my season ticket go I felt that strongly about it. Thank god I didn’t have to in the end. The ESL was a step too far. It was going to be based on the American franchise model. No relegation for the 15 founding clubs. The Premier League would have been diminished. The FA and League Cups would have been further diluted. Matches in my opinion would have quite quickly begun to be played abroad in the United States, the Middle East and the Far East.
One thing we’ve learnt is how easily the game we love can be snatched away from us. We’ve won the battle but we haven’t won the war. Stan Kroenke still owns the club and while he and some of the other owners are still around there’s always the possibility that they may try again to create a ESL.
Stan Kroenke didn’t even have the decency to apologise to the Arsenal fans personally. He made the club release an apology statement from “The Board”. Stan Kroenke has forever tarnished the name of this great club and dragged us through the mud. He didn’t care one iota about the other 86 clubs left behind in the football pyramid.
We need to get him out of Arsenal as soon as possible. He has proved beyond doubt that he isn’t a fit and proper owner as one of the main drivers of the ESL. However we must make sure that any new owner isn’t a case of (in the words of The Who) “Meet the new boss – same as the old boss”.
I welcome a government root and branch review of football and I’d love us to follow the German model of fans owning 51% of the clubs. Whether that’s possible I doubt. But there must be legislation that protects all clubs from being exploited by unscrupulous owners from giants like Arsenal all the way down the pyramid to smaller clubs like Southend United. Fans must have a say and there must be no more hijacking clubs and creating rogue leagues. There must no more asset strippers or property developers preying on clubs. Finally UEFA and FIFA are still in my opinion in urgent need of massive reform. How Qatar still has the World Cup despite 6,500 migrant deaths and a bidding process that was proven massively corrupt I’ll never know.
Started going to Highbury in ’66. Season ticket holder since ’76. Love The Arsenal. Need I say more?