Mikel Arteta delivers message to Arsenal fans ahead of protest
"They are the soul of this football club and they are the soul of this industry."
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has told fans that their voices will always be heard by the club. His comments come ahead of a protest on Friday evening that Arsenal fans are holding to voice their anger and displeasure at the club's owners.
Supporters are set to gather outside the Emirates ahead of their team's clash with Everton in the Premier League on Friday night.
This is all in the aftermath of Arsenal being one of six Premier League clubs that announced their intention to join a new Super League competition with six other European sides. Arsenal's involvement was almost single-handedly driven by their owner Stan Kroenke, with zero consultation with the manager, players or fans.
Kroenke has since apologised to supporters at a fans forum, but this is not enough for the vast majority of the club's fanbase.
The Evening Standard reports that the forum was a tense affair, and at one point one supporter asked Kroenke: “Have you ever thought that English football is not for you, and that it is time to leave it?”
When asked what his message to supporters was before the Arsenal vs Everton game and the protest, Arteta said: “We want to listen to them and we totally respect that.
"That they have been loud and clear what they want and that they have been heard - and they are going to be heard all the time because, again, they are the soul of this football club and they are the soul of this industry."
The Spaniard went on to say: "We are going to try do the best that we can to make them proud all the time and to make their lives better by playing the way we want to play, winning football matches and trophies.
"That’s our responsibility. But if they can help in a way it is by giving support to the team, because that it is going to have an immense effect and it is so powerful that I think they have to realise that."
The protest on Friday night had initially been planned to fight back against the club's participation in the breakaway Super League. However, after the tournament fell apart on Tuesday it will now be aimed at Kroenke's ownership of the club.
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) April 23, 2021