Arsene Wenger was questioned about his feelings towards Stan Kroenke’s new hunting channel ahead of the Community Shield.
With Arsenal set to face Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday, Wenger probably has quite a bit on his plate since the Gunners didn’t look too sharp against Sevilla.
However, Arsenal are also in the press for another reason: Stan Kroenke’s hunting TV channel, which the media put Wenger on the spot about ahead of the pre-season match this weekend.
The Gunners’ majority shareholder, who wasn’t exactly popular among Arsenal fans anyway, has launched a new TV channel, which will exclusively show hunting. Although all the hunting shown is said to be ‘legal’, it’s still grossly unethical and the American club owner is quite rightly facing an onslaught of criticism.
Apparently, it’ll only show ‘ethical’ and ‘fair chase’ hunting, which sounds like a bit of an oxymoron to me but there you go…
It also promises to show “thousands of hunting, fishing and shooting episodes featuring the biggest names in outdoor TV … how-to videos and even wild game recipes.”
Wenger claimed to not know much about the TV channel, which may or may not be true, but what do people expect him to say? Do people honestly expect him to speak out of turn about the club’s owner without being properly briefed first?
“Not at all (will the players be affected), we are professional football people and I think what it means to be professional is to focus on your job and the strength of professional people is not to be diverted by noises that are not their problem … I think to be professional is to focus on what is your job and after that the only way you can focus on your job is to show it on Sunday, next game is always the most important,” Wenger said, reports the Telegraph.
“Look, I cannot judge because I don’t know what’s going on, I have not been informed about that and so I cannot give you anymore information on that.”
Someone who can and has spoken about Kroenke’s hunting channel is Arsenal fan and Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who is disgusted.
“As an Arsenal fan I’m disgusted that Stan Kroenke is involved in such a brutal, unethical and unnecessary activity. This is not sport,” Corbyn said.
“Kroenke should stick to football if he wants to be involved in sport. ‘Blood sport’ is a contradiction and there should be no place on television or anywhere else for it.”
The backlash from Kroenke’s latest venture is so loud and so widespread that surely some sort of statement will have to be released by Arsenal? Although, we’re not exactly known for being the most transparent football club when it comes to these things.