Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and chief executive Vinai Venkatesham have apologised to him and the players over the club’s plans to join the collapsed Super League.
On Sunday night, Arsenal announced they were one of 12 clubs – along with the rest of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’, plus Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan – intending to form a new midweek European competition.
However, the plans were met with fury by supporters, leagues and governing bodies across Europe, and by Tuesday night, Arsenal and the other five English sides had withdrawn from the league.
In an open letter, the Arsenal board told supporters that “we made a mistake, and we apologise for it”, and when asked if the same message had been passed on to him, Arteta said: “Yes, starting from Vinai, the ownership and everybody that is involved in the process.
“All of them with the right intentions to defend the club, and put the club in the best possible position for now and for the future. But accepting that the way it’s been handled has had terrible consequences and that it was a mistake.
“I have to really respect that when people have genuine intentions to do the best for this football club but, if it’s not the right thing to do, they can apologise. I think the players, staff and everybody working at the club has to accept that and move on.”
Arteta was then asked whether Kroenke – or his son Josh Kroenke, who is a director at Arsenal – had directly apologised to him, and the head coach said:
“Obviously they are the maximum responsible to run the football club. They apologised for disturbing the team, not having the capacity or ability to communicate in a different way earlier and explained the reasons why.
“And they passed on a message to the players. That’s all you can ask for, and I have to accept it.
“I spoke with them yesterday [Wednesday]. As always, every time we need something and every time something is happening, they are straight away ready to act, to give the answers they can and give the support they can.”