“English fans want to see more big matches, but you still want your cold nights in Stoke.”
Josh Kroenke, son of Arsenal owner Stan, has given the reasons behind the club initially deciding to join the European Super League.
Kroenke answered questions from supporters at an Arsenal fan forum on Thursday afternoon and gave some of the reasons why the Gunners decided to join 11 other European clubs in forming the European Super League.
The Arsenal director was also joined by chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and technical director Edu on the 30-minute call.
Venkatesham started the meeting by saying that, contrary to some media reports, Arsenal were not involved in the creation of the breakaway league and were one of the last clubs to join.
Kroenke then took to the floor to reiterate Venkatesham’s apology and began to explain why Arsenal didn’t want to get left behind by their Premier League rivals.
“I am here today to talk, and I echo Vinai’s comments. Leadership is about recognising when you are wrong, correcting and apologising,” Kroenke said.
“We asked ourselves, what is worse : European Super League, or European Super League without Arsenal? We also asked ourselves what do the fans want?
“The global fan wants Arsenal v Barcelona as often as possible. English fans want to see more big matches, but you still want your cold nights in Stoke. We got it wrong.
“It was never our intention to harm English football, we can talk FFP, about racism, but for football pyramid stability we need to ensure we are maximising revenue, but we went about it the wrong way on this occasion.”
Arsenal Supporters Trust’s Akhil Vyas then accused Kroenke of not talking to the fans, claiming he didn’t understand Arsenal or English football.
“You do not understand English football. You do not interact with fans, you have no clue, English football is clearly not for you, you should leave,” Vyas said at the meeting.
He then asked: “Do you agree with the suggestion of fan representation on the board?”
Kroenke replied: “I believe in it, this has been an education on the power of Arsenal fans.”
AK : do you not understand English football, you do not interact with fans, you have no clue, English football is clearly not for you, you should leave
— REDaction Gooners (@REDactionAFC) April 22, 2021
“We will rebuild, we believe we are fit to go forward with Arsenal, we were put in a difficult situation by sources outside the club,” he added.
Kroenke also confirmed that KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) would cover all outside costs related to Arsenal withdrawing from the European Super League.