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Mikel Arteta on Stan Kroenke’s personal apology – ‘I have to respect the Arsenal owner’s intentions’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta revealed he and the players received an apology from owner Stan Kroenke following the European Super League debacle.

The club were one of 12 European sides to form the breakaway on Sunday, but the Gunners then withdrew from the competition along with the five other Premier League clubs on Tuesday.

The Arsenal board wrote an open letter to the fans to apologise, and Arteta said he respects Kroenke’s intentions after the owner spoke to the squad, with chief executive Vinai Venkatesham also saying sorry.

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Arteta said: “Obviously, they have the maximum responsibility to run the football club and this is what they said.

Josh Kroenke, left, and his father Stan Kroenke

Image credit: Getty Images

“Vinai and the ownership have the right intentions to put the club in the best possible position for now and the future, but they accept that it has had terrible consequences and it was a mistake.

“Vinai explained to me what was happening, the process that was happening before it was announced, and he was clear and transparent.

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I have to respect the genuine intentions to do the best for the club and then to apologise. We have to accept that because of the way it’s been handled internally.

Pressed on why Arsenal joined the proposals, Arteta said: “Well, I don’t know but I know the people that work in the organisation.

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“First of all they are very caring for the interests of the football club and, secondly, they are very intelligent and professional people. So I’m sure that they have the right reasons to start something but it clearly didn’t work, or it wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t done the right way and it was time to step back.”

Arteta said he still felt “supported” by the owners and “proud” to manage the club.

He also said “fans are free to express themselves” amid potential protests outside the Emirates Stadium on Friday, before their Premier League game against Everton.

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“I think competition, and an ability to participate, has to be earned. And that has to be out on the pitch, and I always believe and I will defend that,” Arteta added.

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“The main reason why we are here is we have uncertainty of winning and losing, and we can dream. We can dream of winning and the possibility to be in a better place and a risk of being in a worse place, and that’s what keeps us alive.

“I think this has given a big lesson 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.

“I feel very supported by everyone in the club, the way we have dealt with the pandemic, and loads of issues – people still come here with smile on their faces and that is something I’m proud of.”


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