‘Absolutely disgraceful’ Arsenal CEO given ‘tongue lashing’ by PL exec

Joe Williams
Arsenal Emirates Stadium
Arsenal Emirates Stadium

Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was given a dressing down by another Premier League CEO when he called to apologise over their European Super League plans, according to reports.

The Gunners were one of six Premier League clubs to announce on Sunday night that they had signed an agreement to form a new competition with other elite teams from across Europe.

The response from supporters and the wider footballing world was almost completely negative to the extent that, by Tuesday evening, Arsenal – as well as Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – withdrew from the process.

MAILBOX: Why would Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal owners stay?

Arsenal’s statement was praised for acknowledging their misjudgement and apologising to supporters – while Mikel Arteta said he had also had direct communication with the Kroenke family, who own the club.

It emerged on Thursday that Venkatesham had phoned all of the other 14 clubs to apologise to their executives with the Daily Telegraph describing the conversations as ‘rather awkward’ but that ‘the sentiment is appreciated’.

However, Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol claims that the calls ‘didn’t go that well’ and that Venkatesham made ‘a bad situation worse’.

One of the Premier League CEOs gave him ‘a tongue lashing and told him Arsenal had behaved absolutely disgracefully’.

When asked if he had received an apology from the club’s board, Arteta said: “Yes, absolutely.

“They (the owners) have the maximum responsibility to run the football club and what they said was: ‘apologies for disturbing the team, we did it without the capacity to communicate in a different way earlier and pass on my message to the players’ – that is all you can ask for.

“I found out just a little bit before the news was leaked. And then everything was completely out of control and the world reacted in a really unified manner.

“There was not really time to think about it, reflect and evaluate or anything because by the time that was out, a big tsunami already came onto it and basically killed it.

“Vinai (Venkatesham, chief executive) spoke to me and explained a little bit what was happening. He was very clear and transparent with me. I understand the reasons why we could not know. We were not involved in the decision.”