AISA (The Arsenal Independent Supporters Association) has issued a statement on the proposed “European Super League” which Arsenal FC has suggested that it will be joining.
Untold Arsenal is pleased to reproduce this in full.
AISA strongly condemns the decision to create a European Super League and is dismayed and disgusted that Arsenal FC are part of the cabal of English clubs leading this breakaway. The proposals are unwanted by match-going supporters, go against long-standing traditions of sporting merit, are unsound commercially and, crucially, have not been the subject of supporter consultation. This makes a mockery of Arsenal’s repeated commitment to structured dialogue.
We are Arsenal supporters and football fans. We want success for our club. We want future generations to continue to have the ability to support a club that they can be proud of, a club that values every fan, a club that treasures its past and looks forward to its future.
Arsenal FC have a long and proud history as a club founded on the principles of competition and this move undermines that. It takes no account of the wishes of Arsenal fans or the wider support of the football pyramid. AISA is not against change, indeed we recognise that Arsenal FC have pioneered many initiatives in football history, but this is change for the wrong reasons and at the wrong time.
The clubs involved in the proposed ESL appear to have no interest in the hopes and dreams of ordinary football fans and only in the amount of wealth they can realise from the ‘closed shop’ that this will create. AISA campaigns on behalf of Arsenal fans and will never support any move that takes our club away from those fans.
We would like to see clear evidence of how this move benefits Arsenal FC, its supporters, and the supporters of all football clubs in the UK and Europe because we can see none. We call on Arsenal and the other English and European clubs to reconsider their actions and return to the football family, at home and abroad.
I think AISA has hit the nail on the head here. Arsenal FC is owned and run by a few people, but they are nevertheless the custodians of the club formed by the working men of Plumstead and Woolwich 135 years ago. Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal, The Arsenal, Arsenal: we are still and always have been, the same club.
Since its origins, Arsenal has been a club that has sought success through its own merit, not through artificially created affairs as we have seen proposed yesterday. Just as in the early 20th century it was Arsenal that led the way in fighting match-fixing, so today Arsenal should be standing squarely behind the notion of truly competitive sporting competition.
Arsenal were the first club from the south to join the Football League, and the difficulties that caused Arsenal have been well recorded. Quite rightly the club has shown its solidarity with the traditions of the League ever since.
Arsenal’s success is a true monument to the achievements of the club over time, and this new “superleague” makes a mockery of our club’s past, as well as the dedication of those early stalwarts of the club whose work eventually made the club the longest serving member of the top division in the history of English football.
That success was achieved on merit, and our traditions demand that we continue to fight for our right to dine off the top table, on merit, not through some artificial construct.
Untold Arsenal stands firm with other Arsenal supporters on this, and is completely against this new league. We’re glad to support AISA’s stand.
Tony Attwood, publisher, Untold Arsenal
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