Date: 22nd April 2021 at 3:26pm
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When ninth-placed Premier League side Arsenal announced they were one of six of the division’s teams set to join the breakaway European Super League, fans shared the fury of all those across the country, with added embarrassment. 

It looks to be put on ice, for now anyway, but the footballing world has come together to praise English fans specifically, with the powerful protests seeing all six sides quit the new 12-team founding party of the ESL within 48 hours of its announcement.

One of those who has spoken out is Arsenal boss himself, Mikel Arteta.

The Daily Mail reports that the Spaniard believes fans have sent out the ‘strongest ever’ message, and also revealed that he has received an apology from owner Stan Kroenke – who was a major force behind the venture.

Arteta said: “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.

 Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is thought to be a major player in the European Super League breakaway.

“But, when the fans have to come out and 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.”

Details of the league emerged as Arsenal were set to take on relegation-threatened Fulham, a game in which they could only muster a point thanks to a last-gasp Eddie Nketiah equaliser.

Arteta has confirmed that he and his players received apologies from the very top of the club, while owners are due to address bitterly disappointed fans on Thursday.

He added: “Yes, absolutely [there was an apology]. They have the maximum responsibility to run the football club and that is 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.” 

Although this idea looks to have fallen apart, will you be surprised to see a similar breakaway venture in football’s future?

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