Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed he received an apology from owner Stan Kroenke after they joined the European Super League.
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The Gunners were one of 12 founding members who signed up to the breakaway competition on Sunday, but by Tuesday they pulled out of the new competition and issued an apology to fans.
Arteta revealed he knew about the plan just before it was announced, but knew very little details and was kept out of it by the club owners and Arsenal directors.
Speaking to reporters ahead of their clash against Everton on Friday (start time, 3pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), Arteta revealed an apology came from the very top of the club.
“Yes, starting from Vinai, the ownership and everybody that is involved in the process. All of them with the right intentions to defend the club, and put the club in the best possible position for now and for the future. But accepting that the way it’s been handled has had terrible consequences and that it was a mistake,” Arteta said.
“I have to really respect that when people have genuine intentions to do the best for this football club but, if it’s not the right thing to do, they can apologise. I think the players, staff and everybody working at the club has to accept that and move on.”
What did Kroenke say to Arteta?
Arteta was then asked if the Kroenke family apologized to him personally, to which he replied ‘yes, absolutely’ before adding.
“Obviously they [Kroenke family] are the maximum responsible to run the football club. They apologized for disturbing the team, not having the capacity or ability to communicate in a different way earlier and explained the reasons why. And they passed on a message to the players. That’s all you can ask for, and I have to accept it.
“I spoke with them yesterday [Wednesday]. As always, every time we need something and every time something is happening, they are straight away ready to act, to give the answers they can and give the support they can.”
What now for Arsenal, Super League clubs?
There will no doubt be further protests across the six Premier League clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham) in the weeks and months ahead as fans let their owners know they are far from happy with what they did, then undid.
Managers and players at those clubs were pretty much out of the loop on these Super League plans, so their fans won’t be mad at them.
The protests from fans is also about letting the owners know that even though they didn’t succeed with a Super League this time, they should not try to do it again in a few years from me.
Having Arteta, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and others speak out against the Super League is powerful, but Arteta is right: this reminded us all that the fans hold the ultimate power.