The four reasons why are the media so very much against Arsenal

by Tony Attwood

The four reasons why the media are so much against Arsenal are, in my opinion, not at all hard to find.   It runs like this…


Arsenal were mistrusted from the start by the press barons because they started out as a club owned and run by the workers, a club that elected the committee that ran its affairs from among its working class members.  For the media and other this smelt like the dreaded socialism, and so when there was a chance to knock the club, they did.

When Henry Norris rescued the club in 1910 he was seen as an outsider, a man who had made his fortune, not one who had inherited it from previous generations.  He also called out the wrong-doings of football – as when he highlighted the match fixing in pre-war League games.  Just as in a much smaller way we highlight what’s wrong and the media ignored us, so it was with Norris.

So the media began to knock Arsenal and that knocking became sneering; one only has to look at the way Mr Wenger was treated.


Most football journalists are lazy, basically writing copy without any research.  One only has to look at the daily round of transfer stories to see this.  These stories are not even ones they have chased down themselves, but are invariably reported as being from another source.  Look at that source, and it quotes another source, and so on.

So if you are ultimately lazy and need some copy for the next edition of the paper, or indeed the website, you just make it up.

And if you want an example, simply look at the headline, read the article, and then look at the headline again.  There is often no link between the two.

The veneration of those without insight and those without evidence

You may have read our little piece the other day How the media is trying to destroy Arsenal – if not you might find it worth a few minutes of your time.  In essence it points to a man who really screwed up big time in the arena of owning a football club, and now makes his money by pointing the finger at others who he says are screwing up big time – like Arsenal.

There is no analysis in Simon Jordan’s writing, just accusation, and those accusations are given huge prominence without any attempt to balance the reporting with actual facts.

This approach by the media has led many fans to think that simply making accusations is what football journalism should be about, so that’s what they do.  Which leads us to the third point

Fans make it easy

Untold had this comment posted recently…

“I think it is obvious why Arsenal have regressed over the last decade or so.   Useless owners, a board and Executives not fit for purpose and a set of Managers that either overstayed their welcome or were not up to the task.  When a club has been allowed to deteriorate the way AFC have, there is only one outcome.”

Fair enough, the writer opens with “I think…” admitting it is simply his point of view.  The problem is that such points of view are now considered to be of equal merit to a piece in which logic or reasoning or indeed evidence is given.

There is a further problem with that comment above, and that is it is circular.  The club has regressed because we have had managers and owners who are not up to the task.   Well, yes, up to a point, because if they had been up to the task, they would have won the league.

Except only one club can win the league, so that means only one manager can be up to the task.

But surely money also counts, and it is clear that Chelsea and Manchester City have much more money than Arsenal to spend on players.  Ah, then that means they are “not up to the task….”  – and that doesn’t really get us too far.

And then again, in the last eight seasons (including this one) we have won the FA Cup four times.  But I suppose in the sort of thinking above, that doesn’t count.  Although I think that has only happened once before, and that was with Chelsea – which perhaps says something.

Basically the argument that to win trophies you need owners and managers to be fit for purpose and up to the task, doesn’t tell us anything except that to win trophies you need to be able to win trophies.  I’d like our analysis to go a little further than that.

But fans do make it easy.  Look at Arsenal Supporters Trust with their argument that the directors are stealing the transfer money and using it to pay themselves.  But ask yourself these questions…

1: If you were running a club where the directors were stealing money in that way would you let those guys from Arsenal Supporters Trust onto the board? 

2: If you were running a club where the directors were not stealing money in that way but you were accused of it by AST, would you let those guys from Arsenal Supporters Trust onto the board? 

I’ll leave you with that thought.

Arsenal against the Media


6 Replies to “The four reasons why are the media so very much against Arsenal”

  1. Can you do an article on how the media benefits from being Anti Arsenal, as opposed to any other club? Is there an anti-Arsenal secret society embedded in the media?
    The owners of Arsenal, like the owners of the media, are part of a global elite with shared interests. The editors and journalists in the media know what those interests are, and serve them. They know what is acceptable to say and write without being told.
    If Arsenal were owned and run by someone outside the global elite, a maverick of some sort, who said things the global elite did not like, then they and to an extent Arsenal would be demonised in the media.
    But the Kronkes et al do not fit that profile.
    Which is why, in my opinion, there is no organised or institutional media bias against Arsenal.
    But I am open to be persuaded that there is a media bias against Arsenal. When I was a kid my Celtic supporting friends argued that there was a media bias in Scotland in favour of Rangers. They argued that most of the owners and bosses in the media were Protestants., or at least not Catholic. And that they were Rangers supporters. Possibly less true today, but a credible argument back then to explain media bias against a specific football club. But No such dynamic surrounds Arsenal, as far as I know.

  2. No one is against Arsenal.

    Failure is an orphan, success has many fathers.

  3. The Anti Arsenal bias is not driven by ownership nor is is clearly obvious. It is a historical jealousy of the success of a club that is successful without buying into the offerings of alternative markets.

    There are historical reasons for the growth of Arsenal that organised groups were unable to penetrate and influence. There was the Wenger appointmant that has a history of antagonism against his whistle blowing of impropriety in European officiating and club owners.

    One needs to Google the topics and read to get a better understanding.

  4. A large aspect of the media hate is down to our fans who “make it easier”. Club has fans globally, a lot of whom aren’t invested but on a glory hunt and in it for the banter. So, when the team is on a downward slide and the Bantz turn against the side and its fans, they find it hard to handle and readily swallow every negative story online and in the papers.

    But that’s not taking anything away from the other points espoused above, especially the History (including Wenger’s coming and how he rocked the boat a bit).

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