Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler has heavily criticised Arsenal director Josh Kroenke after he addressed the club’s supporters during a Fans’ Forum on Thursday afternoon.
Following the aftermath of the European Super League’s dramatic collapse on Tuesday evening, which saw all six English clubs pull the plug on their involvement, despite only joining the breakaway league 48 hours earlier, Kroenke Jnr addressed the club’s fans alongside chief executive Vinai Venkatesham.
Unsurprisingly, many Arsenal fans slammed Kroenke Jnr for the club’s decision to join the breakaway league, insisting it was against the traditions of English football and should not have happened.
In a mammoth call, which did feature some strong views being aired, the American admitted that Arsenal felt the need to join the breakaway league so that they were not be left behind in comparison to other big-name European clubs.
During the Fans’ Forum, he explained: “As this project took shape in a very, very fast manner we asked ourselves two key questions. The first question we asked ourselves, what is worse – a Super League or a Super League without Arsenal?
“That was a very tough one for us to weigh, but basically the decision we made was a Super League without Arsenal was the worst of those answers. That’s what we acted upon.
“The second question was ‘what do the fans want?’ We tried to answer that question in as many ways as possible.
“We are obviously bound by certain confidentiality aspects of the decision we were thinking about making. It was a much more complicated answer than we had time to contemplate.
“I think the global fan wants to see Arsenal vs Barcelona regularly, as much as possible. I think the European fan wants to see more big matches between top clubs because their domestic league is so predictable.”
Kroenke added Jnr added: “The global fan wants Arsenal vs Barcelona as often as possible. English fans, too, want big matches, but you still want cold nights in Stoke.”
Following on from that claim, commentator Tyler hit out at Kroenke Jnr for his comments during his commentary of Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.
The veteran pinpointed Super League president Florentino Perez’s baffling set of comments that he has made in recent days as a starting point, as well as describing Kroenke Jnr’s comments as both “patronising and stupid” against English football fans.
“Señor Perez has been enlightening us with words of apparent wisdom,” Tyler said during his commentary on Sky Sports. “I think Josh Kroenke’s mention about English fans liking their winter nights in Stoke is utterly patronising and stupid.”
Ahead of Tuesday evening’s dramatic events, which saw hundreds of Chelsea supporters stage a mass protest at Stamford Bridge before the Super League came crashing down, Perez admitted that he was considering reducing the length of matches within the Super League to ensure youngsters remained interested in the sport.
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Perez said: “If young people say football matches are too long, maybe it’s because that match isn’t too interesting or maybe we have to shorten the length of matches.
“There could be a second division of Super League, for example.
“If we can’t find an agreement with UEFA, we will not back down. If they want to wait for 2024 to make the reform, they can wait.
“We’re not waiting for anyone because we need the Super League.”