By Tony Attwood
“How can we ever work with these people again? They’ve spent years telling us barefaced lies,” was just one comment in the last day or two. And yet nothing is new; we have had problems with untruths in football since the start of football.
As I have quoted a number of times (because it was Untold that unravelled the story) when Arsenal wanted to buy Suarez from Liverpool, and the Liverpool owner told lie after lie to the media claiming there was no £40m buyout clause, the media lapped it up, while making fun of Mr Wenger for thinking there was a clause in the player’s contract saying the player had to be offered the chance to leave if there were a bid over £40m.
Arsenal put in that bid and even when John Henry admitted he had lied constantly, the UK media refused to run that story, because, of course, it made them look pretty stupid in not bothering to do any investigating of Henry’s claim at the time. It was little Untold Arsenal that got the story.
(If you missed that you can read it in “Liverpool owner admits he lied about Suarez’ buy out clause”and the follow up piece “What are they smoking at Anfield?” John Henry’s jibe against Arsenal comes back to haunt him…”)
The fact is that Henry, the man who openly boasted of his ability to throw off the English media by the simple technique of lying, is still there, still running his club, still signing up for things like the Super League. He’s just issued a video of himself.
Arsenal have however apologised profusely and more completely than I had imagined they would do. In case you have missed it I’ll reprint the apology at the end of this little piece.
Manchester United however did not make people happy with a brusque 52 word notice saying they would not be taking part. Gary Neville described it as ‘quite possibly the worst communication’ ever.
Manchester City may have apologised but I haven’t seen it. But Man City like to demand apologies themselves, as when Pep Guardiola says Man C deserved an apology after the club successfully overturned their ban from European club on the technicality of Uefa being too slow to present its case against Man City, and thus effectively running out of time. I would have liked a Uefa apology too – but not to Man City. I’d have liked an apology to all the clubs obeying the FFP rules over Uefa’s gross incompetence at not bringing the case forward quickly enough.
Chelsea are normally quite good on apologies, and they get a lot of practice, for in the past they have apologised for historical child sexual abuse (6 August 2019), crimes by former youth coach (18 March 2021), Kennedy’s offensive instagram posts (July 2017), and paying Gary Johnson £50,000 to keep quiet about sex abuse. There’s more, but that gives you the flavour.
Tottenham have said, “We regret the anxiety and upset caused by the ESL proposal. We felt it was important that our club participated in the development of a possible new structure that sought to better ensure financial fair play and financial sustainability whilst delivering significantly increased support for the wider football pyramid.
“We believe that we should never stand still and that the sport should constantly review competitions and governance to ensure the game we all love continues to evolve and excite fans around the world. We should like to thank all those supporters who presented their considered opinions.”
The Arsenal apology.
The last few days have shown us yet again the depth of feeling our supporters around the world have for this great club and the game we love.
We needed no reminding of this but the response from supporters in recent days has given us time for further reflection and deep thought.
It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future.
As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.
We know it will take time to restore your faith in what we are trying to achieve here at Arsenal but let us be clear that the decision to be part of the Super League was driven by our desire to protect Arsenal, the club you love, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability.
Stability is essential for the game to prosper and we will continue to strive to bring the security the game needs to move forward.
The system needs to be fixed. We must work together to find solutions which protect the future of the game and harness the extraordinary power football has to get us on the edge of our seats.
Finally, we know this has been hugely unsettling at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.
Our aim is always to make the right decisions for this great football club, to protect it for the future and to take us forward. We didn’t make the right decision here, which we fully accept.
We have heard you.
The Arsenal Board
That is a proper apology. Thank you Arsenal. You might also enjoy
- Manchester City v Arsenal: The Big 7 Stats, and comparisons of the last 6 games
- Manchester City v Arsenal: surprising statistics and a result prediction
- Arsenal’s 25 man squad – is it already full?
- Yet another example of the way the media tries to put down Arsenal
- The Continental Tyres Cup 2022/23 quarter finals: Arsenal v Villa