‘It’s shameful’ – Ian Wright slams Arsenal over involvement in proposed European Super League

Arsenal legend Ian Wright speaks at the Carling Black Label Media Launch
Arsenal great Ian Wright claims the club’s involvement is ‘shameful’ (Picture: Getty)

Ian Wright has hit out at the proposed European Super League and says Arsenal’s involvement in the controversial project is especially ‘shameful’ given their current standing in the game.

On Sunday night, Arsenal were formally unveiled as one of the 12 European teams that have signed up to the breakaway competition, with the rest of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ also tied in along with Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan.

The earth-shattering announcement has been met with fury and dismay among fans, pundits and politicians and Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to meet with football’s governing bodies later today to discuss the best course of action in tackling what he branded a ‘nuclear war’.

Leading figures in football have come out in droves to condemn the plans, which would see founding members immune from relegation, with ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger stressing that the sport’s long-held values must be preserved for the good of the game.

Six English clubs join breakaway to form new European Super League - explained

And on Monday night, Wright joined his former manager in criticising the plans, singling out Arsenal for criticism for taking a ‘seat at a table that we have no right to be at’.

‘You know something, I literally can’t believe it when I see Arsenal’s name come up on the screen as one of the teams. This is the same Arsenal that a couple of weeks ago I was commending on the tribute to David Rocastle. God, man would be turning in his grave knowing what’s going on now,’ the iconic ex-Arsenal striker told his 1.1 million followers on Instagram.

‘Is this how far we’ve fallen where we’re now getting into competitions because we’re not good enough to get into them? To the detriment of the English game, we’re getting a seat at a table that we have no right to be at. It’s shameful. I’ve heard that word used and it is shameful.’

Wright said he would be ‘s***ing’ himself if he represented one of the clubs involved, with football’s governing bodies threatening ban players from major international tournaments.

‘If I’m a player now I’m worried: “So if I play in this competition I can’t play in the Euros, I can’t play in the World Cup?”. I’m actually hearing that they’re saying the teams in the semi-finals now may disqualify them out of the Champions League with what’s going on, because of all of this,’ he added.

‘Where is the competition in all of this? Why haven’t we seen exactly how this is going to work? Not that I want to because I totally disagree with it. Where are we going with it, where’s the jeopardy? Who goes down, what do they win? Are we supposed to play against these great teams on a weekly basis?

I played against AC Milan twice in my career and it’s something I’ll never forget. Are we supposed to be playing these teams so frequently? It’s not meant to be like that.

‘You dream of playing in the Champions League and the World Cup. You dream of playing in the Euros for your country. Now they’re saying you’re not allowed to play in those competitions.

‘How would you feel as a player right now? I’d be absolutely s***ing myself now.’

According to Wright, the timing of the announcement was proof that the club owners involved ‘don’t care’ about their supporters in England.

‘When you look at the time with these people, they announced it at 10:45pm… are they catering for us? They don’t care about what’s going on in England,’ he went on.

‘Those clubs that are involved are English by name only and it’s a shame. It’s a real shame that this has happened. These people coming out telling us about solidarity. What solidarity? Where’s the detail in what you’re doing? It just makes me very sad, guys. It makes me very sad.

‘The fans will see straight through all this bollocks. I just love the way that everybody are roundly condemning this and we have to stick together with this.’

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