If you’re a fan of any other club other than Arsenal, there are chances that you log on to YouTube every time the Gunners lose, to take a peek into Arsenal Fan TV. The fan-run channel interviews fans after every game, and has built its reputation on participants with strong, vocal and controversial opinions. The channel only recently celebrated its 5-year anniversary and as of March 2, has just short of 700,000 followers on YouTube.
AFTV broke into the limelight at the start of the 2013/14 campaign, when Arsenal lost the season-opener to Aston Villa at the Emirates. Since then, it has only gone from strength to strength. The channel host, Robbie Lyle, worked smartly to present an alternate point of view to every participant, thereby prompting more and more emotion-filled outbursts. This is, of course, extremely entertaining from the point-of-view of both the neutral and the opposition, and the views and follows just kept flowing in.
There are mainly two factions among the fans: the ones continuing to support Arsene Wenger, and the ones saying that it’s time for him to leave the club. It started out in a small way, but the opinions have gotten stronger and more extreme with time. Last season, one of the AFTV-regulars, Mr. DT, was responsible for carrying out a protest outside the Emirates Stadium and also holding “Wenger Out” banners inside the ground every now and then.
Built on Arsenal’s failure?
There have been several criticisms hurled at the channel that it is, in fact based on Arsenal’s failures. Not too many of the club’s own fans watch it any more, while the opposition ones only tune in following a result where they know they’re going to find some rants and outbursts. Some of Arsenal’s biggest recent defeats (the series of 5-1 defeats to Bayern, 4-0 against Liverpool, defeats to Crystal Palace, West Brom, etc) have been followed by some of the channel’s most watched videos. Several outbursts by “popular” contributors have views well over a million each.
In a recent interview, Arsenal player Hector Bellerin criticised the channel, questioning the loyalty of the fans in the process. The Spaniard said, as quoted here by the Telegraph, “It’s so wrong for someone who claims to be a fan and their success is fed off a failure. How can that be a fan? It’s just people hustling, trying to make money their way, which everyone is entitled to do.
“For us players it doesn’t affect us. If they want to have fun with it then have fun. When you grow you realise what is important to you to take [on board].
“If a coach comes to me and says you’ve done something bad I’m going to take that advice. If someone from ArsenalFanTV says this guy needs to do this or that I’m not going to listen to him.”
Following back-to-back 3-0 defeats to Manchester City and the club languishing in 6th in the Premier League table, the channel is only set to get more and more popular in the weeks to come.
While the fans are fully entitled to their own opinions, as well as recording and putting it up on YouTube, there is certainly a feeling that the channel’s own personal success is down to the club’s issues. Nearly everyone though, is now agreeing that it’s time for Wenger to go. If that does happen, and the glory days return to Arsenal Football Club in the next couple of years, it will be really interesting to see the direction Arsenal Fan TV heads.
Marry is a content writer and a digital marketing expert and has a lot of patience to write sports industry. This article is written on behalf of by Boxofficeevents.com, which is an official hub of football tickets in UK.