Arsenal’s actions proves the disconnect with their fans

    The world of football has long been rife with greed and selfishness but the disconnect between Arsenal and their supporters has never been more evident than this week.

    The proposed Super League threatened to change the footballing landscape drastically and not for the better – the entire sport’s ecosystem was under threat by the idea of this egocentric breakaway competition, of which Arsenal were one of the founding members.

    KSE have yet to be embraced by the Gunners faithful and judging by the present mood, they never will be. The club is currently operating at a loss, their plans to generate increased revenue have embarrassingly failed and so what incentive is there for them to stay?

    Throughout the years they’ve been accused of caring very little for the sporting side of things and in truth, they’ve done very little to suggest otherwise. Having taken full control of the club back in 2018 many feared the worst and this failed coup by a group of Europe’s ‘elite’ clubs has shone a light on what their intentions were all along – this wasn’t planned overnight.

    Vinai Venkatesham denied Arsenal were one of those pushing hardest for the Super League during Thursday’s fans forum. He said they were “not the authors or drivers of this proposal”.

    He also added: “In this situation, what was clear to us is the train was leaving the station. This project was about to be launched with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, and we needed to assess if this launch happened without us, and this tournament came to fruition without us, what that would mean for the club.”

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    Vinai Venkatesham
    Vinai Venkatesham denies Arsenal were one of the authors of this plan | Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

    Venkatesham suggested the club’s decision was a last-minute one driven by the fear of being left behind. Strange that, and very hard to believe – particularly when you consider Stan Kroenke was named as one of the Super League’s vice-chairmen.

    The passive ownership style and their lack of investment throughout the years has been frustrating and while some supporters have campaigned previously, the news of the Super League was in many ways the straw that broke the camels back.

    Those who were once indifferent or perhaps felt their voices would not be heard genuinely felt hurt by this betrayal and in taking this decision KSE provided those less extreme in their views on the owners the call to arms they needed.

    No good stood to come of what these six Premier League clubs tried to do but if you’re looking for a silver lining – it can be found in the fact the Arsenal fanbase, for the first time in years, stands united.

    This was an attack on the sport, the club, its fans and its values. Given the skepticism around KSE prior to this, there is no going back. They’re no strangers to controversial decisions and the backlash that comes with them – just ask those who follow the Rams. However, there’s nothing quite like the affiliation between football clubs and their adoring fans.

    The fact they misjudged the public opinion on this so badly highlights just how disconnected Arsenal’s American owners are from those who actually follow the club. KSE will be hoping the heat dies down in the coming weeks as the focus shifts back to the football itself but it’s imperative the Gunners faithful continue to voice their concerns and are persistent in their efforts to rid themselves of these arrogant businessmen.

    They talk a good game and suggested they’d invest in the squad this summer – but it remains to be seen if will it be enough to propel Arsenal back up into a Champions League position, An unsuccessful team, especially at a time like this, means they miss out on the revenue Europe’s premier competition brings, and it impacts the balance sheets.

    Having been told directly they’re not wanted or trusted by the fan base, KSE seemingly find themselves at a crossroads.

    Either invest, prove the fans wrong and restore the club’s status as a European heavyweight or sell up, get out and transfer the custody of this footballing institution to somebody who will.

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