Several hundred Arsenal fans protested outside Emirates Stadium before the team’s English Premier League match against Everton on Friday to call for owner Stan Kroenke to leave the club over its bid to join the Super League.
Fans gathered on the stadium’s concourse more than two hours before kickoff, banging metal screens above the main box office, lighting flares, setting off fireworks and chanting “We want Kroenke out” and “We want our Arsenal back.”
They also hung banners over the edge of the concourse, including ones that read, “Arsenal till I die. Kroenke out,” and “Our club our home. Sell up Stan.”
Nicky Bandini and Mina Rzouki believe talk of a reformatted European Super League will return in the future.
After gathering on the concourse, the fans marched down the stairs in front of the box office and team store to continue their noisy demonstration.
Speaking ahead of the match, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: “We hear them. Obviously it doesn’t help when you have your own fans trying to stand out on a match day and saying loud and clear they’re not happy with something. But our job is to win the football match and when that happens, everything is better.”
Fan anger has been brewing since Arsenal and five other Premier League clubs announced on Sunday that they would join a breakaway Super League.
And it hasn’t subsided even after Arsenal quit the 12-team Super League project on Tuesday night in the face of a growing public backlash and apologised to fans.
Kroenke’s son joined an Arsenal fans forum on Thursday when they voiced their disdain. In trying to explain their decision to join the proposal, Josh Kroenke claimed they were trying to safeguard the future of the club amid declining revenues resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and four consecutive seasons outside the Champions League.
“I believe we are fit to carry on in our position as custodians of Arsenal. We were put in a very difficult position by forces outside of the club,” Josh Kroenke said in the Thursday forum. “We have the same plans for summer that we had several weeks ago and I’m still excited about those.
“So I might be met with mistrust, I might be met with scepticism, but over time I hope to establish some sort of relationship with our supporter groups and show them that we are capable of taking our club forward.”
Along with Arsenal, Stan Kroenke owns several U.S.-based sports teams, including the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets.
ESPN London correspondent James Olley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.