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TALKING REDS By Layth Yousif

EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE

When the history of this season is written, the collective solidarity shown by Arsenal’s loyal supporters in bringing the shameful greed of the failed ESL crashing down should be first on the page.

The force generated by such unity was exhilarating to be part and I’m proud to say the Gooner stepped up to the challenge and played its part. We ran eloquent and strongly-worded editorials and articles from many of our writers condemning the craven greed in no uncertain terms that were read by many thousands upon thousands of people, including, I know for a fact, by many at the club itself.

As editor, I was interviewed by various radio stations and gave the ESL and the Kroenke’s both barrels, before thousands of us turned up at the Emirates prior to the Everton game to exercise our democratic right to protest peacefully. It was as wonderful as it was exciting to be part of something fuelled by such righteous anger that was channeled in a wonderfully peaceable way, which also featured, as all the best protests do, lashings of wit and irony. I certainly felt it and I’m normally a grumpy cynic.

On a wider note, I think we all made a decent fist of showing the world that Arsenal supporters need to be given far more credit than the reputation unfairly handed to us by those grotesque internet caricatures, in the way we all conducted ourselves with such dignity, eloquence and power when it came fighting the European Super League.

Everyone who was there can be proud we sent a message to the Kroenke’s that we want them out. Of course, it will be a long and bitter road, and this is just the start, but for me, and I dare say many others, the spring of 2021 will be remembered with pride, off the pitch at least, because of the way good people mobilised together to fight the ESL and, of course, to Save the Gooner Fanzine.

PS One good turn deserves another, and I would like to draw your attention to another battle for survival, namely the fight to Save the Tollington pub in their battle against greedy landlords. See our website for more, or google Save the Tolly to sign their petition. Just like the Gooner, we can’t let an Arsenal institution die. So, let’s flex our collective muscles and employ fan power to win this fight.

PPS: A massive thank you to everyone involved in this bumper 96-page issue. For our loyal subscribers for making it happen, to our ever-growing stable of outstanding Arsenal writers and illustrators/creatives who make our publication what it is today, to our backroom admin staff including my wonderful girlfriend Faye, and my youngest daughter and Junior Gunner, Josie, to Kev for his wise counsel that I hugely respect, even if I don’t agree with everything he says(!), to Alex, our main seller, who even made it to the demo to spread the Gooner gospel. But I have to pay special tribute to Dan Mountney and Sergio Braga-Mullin for their hard-work, brilliance and outstanding professionalism in getting this issue over the line when we’re all absolutely knackered.

Cheers. Layth

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