Arsenal and Vinai Venkatesham at loggerheads over European Super League in new development

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Arsenal chief Vinai Venkatesham is reportedly at loggerheads with the club when it comes to the European Super League debacle. The Gunners were one of the founding members of the competition, which failed to get off the ground when details emerged in April. But they ended up pulling out along with the rest of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ – accepting a fine from UEFA and promising to never try such a stunt again.

When news of the European Super League broke, fans across the world were outraged.

Protests took place at Manchester United and Chelsea, with supporters of the former able to get a match against Liverpool called off.

And Arsenal fans were also enraged, taking to venting their fury towards owner Stan Kroenke outside the Emirates Stadium itself.

The north London giants always insisted they merely signed up to the ESL to avoid being left behind, issuing an apology when their plans were ultimately called off.

And the Daily Mail say Venkatesham has since suggested he was left in the dark over the plans itself.

Arsenal, however, disagree.

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They instead say he was merely pointing out the club weren’t ‘the drivers or authors of the botched scheme’, hinting Venkatesham is trying to absolve himself of blame.

Arsenal and other top six clubs were recently punished for their actions, given a £20million fine to pay between them.

And they also promised to be docked 30 points if they ever try to do it again, though that’s unlikely to happen given the huge backlash teams received the first time around.

Arsenal apologised in a statement for their actions, saying: “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.

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“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.”

And Arsenal also promised to be involved in ‘fixing’ the current system, too.

“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,” the statement added.

“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.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta also revealed Venkatesham had apologised to him for the European Super League stunt.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” he said.

“Before I could start to read or evaluate or have any opinion on it the competition was dead already.”

On apologies, he added: “Starting from [chief executive] Vinai [Venkatesham], 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 obviously has had terrible consequences and that it was a mistake.”

Arteta did, though, insist he still felt Arsenal were in safe hands.

“Well I don’t know but I know the people that works in the organisation,” he said.

“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.”

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