Arsenal director Josh Kroenke was told by furious fans that the club’s involvement in the botched European Super League was a “disgrace” and “cowardly”, as the American owners continued to face mounting pressure from supporters.
Kroenke, the son of owner Stan, was angrily asked if the time had come for him to leave English football and was told that it was “clear that you do not know enough about our game” in a feisty meeting with key fan groups.
Arsenal are preparing for protests by supporters outside the Emirates tonight ahead of the Premier League match against Everton.
Kroenke appeared at a fans’ forum yesterday to admit that the club had “got it wrong” by agreeing to join the proposed Super League, which crumbled within days.
His comments are unlikely to have placated the supporters ahead of the match, though, as he was accused of “patronising” Arsenal fans across the world with one of his responses. He also insisted that the owners had no intention of selling the club.
Akhil Vyas, of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, told Kroenke he was “ashamed” of the club’s decision to join the Super League.
“It was a disgrace the way you did it,” Vyas said. “It was cowardly. You launched it and did not even justify it. It’s clear that you don’t know enough about our game, you don’t know enough about our club. Have you ever thought that English football is not for you, and that it is time to leave it? Because, clearly, you are not in touch with fans.”
At the start of the forum, Kroenke told supporters: “The first question we asked ourselves was: what is worse, a Super League or a Super League without Arsenal? That was a very tough one for us to weigh.
“We decided a Super League without Arsenal was the worst of both those answers.
“The second question we asked ourselves was: what do the fans want? I think the global fan wants to see Arsenal versus Barcelona as much as possible. I think the European fan wants to see more big matches between top clubs.
“I think from an English fan’s perspective, and this is what was so educating for me, they want to see more big matches. But as one Chelsea supporter wrote on a sign that I saw online the other day, you still want your cold nights in Stoke.”
The Gunners host Mikel Arteta’s (left) former club tonight looking to leapfrog the visitors and reach eighth place with a win but they will have to earn the three points without key attackers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (malaria) and Alexandre Lacazette (hamstring).
Arsenal v Everton,
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