Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed club owner Stan Kroenke apologised to him over the club’s attempt to join European Super League. The announcement of European Super League backfired spectacularly as fans and pundits criticised the move by the top six clubs.
All English clubs withdrew from the European Super League following widespread protests by fans in front of their stadiums. Arsenal apologised to their fans through an open letter, while Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham had addressed the players.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Arsenal’s game against Everton, Mikel Arteta confirmed Stan Kroenke apologised to him. The Spaniard added “They [the owners] have the maximum responsibility to run the football club and what they said was: ‘apologies for disturbing the team, we did it without the capacity to communicate in a different way earlier and pass on my message to the players’ – that is all you can ask for.”
“I found out just a little bit before the news was leaked. And then everything was completely out of control and the world reacted in a really unified manner.”
“There was not really time to think about it, reflect and evaluate or anything because by the time that was out, a big tsunami already came on to it and basically killed it. Vinai spoke to me and explained a little bit what was happening. He was very clear and transparent with me.”
Speaking on the fan protests, Arteta insisted the soul of football belonged to fans. The Gunners manager added “I think this has given big lessons and it shows the importance of football in the world.”
“And it shows that the soul of this sport belongs to the fans – and that’s it. During this pandemic, for a year, we have been trying to sustain this industry with no fans in the stadium.”
“But, when the fans have to come out to talk, they’ve done it really loud and clear, and they sent probably the strongest message that has ever been sent in the football world. And every club, leaving their interests apart, has done the right thing – which is, they are the ones [the fans], we have to listen to them, we put it aside and in 24 hours we kill the project.”
“So that is a massive statement for the history of football.”