Parlour Thinks AFTV Is An ‘Embarrassment’
No player has played more games in the Premier League for Arsenal then Ray Parlour. He graduated from our academy and went on to win 12 major honours with the Gunners including being a member of our “Invincibles.”
With that resume the 48-year-old shouldn’t have to justify that his love for the club is genuine and that he cares about our reputation. So if he feels that AFTV have embarrassed a side he represented for 15 years, he’s allowed to express his point of view, as he did to Robbie Lyle on Talk Sport radio.
Our ex-midfielder accused the Fan Channel of embarrassing the club, suggesting that they had more subscribers who were fans of rivals than actual Gooners.
“Certain fans, and I’m probably one of them, say that Arsenal Fan TV, you want them to lose so you get more hits on YouTube,” Parlour said on Talk Sport. “What it is, all the other fans want to see Arsenal fans having a meltdown when you lose a game. I look at Arsenal Fan TV and say sometimes you’re quite an embarrassment to look at. “As an Arsenal fan, I want Arsenal to win every game, I think sometimes you look at it and say, ‘if they lose, we’ll get more hits this week and earn more money’”.
There is zero right and wrong here. It’s just one man giving his opinion about content that he knows something about.
Not just in sport, it’s like unless you don’t give the popular consensus you are shouted down. Robbie’s rebuttal was that the interviewee was simply trying to protect his ‘job’ at the Emirates (Parlour isn’t employed by the club but obviously has connections.)
Last time he was on the Radio station Robbie had a war of words with Simon Jordan, accusing the ex-Palace owner of snobbery towards the modern media.
At Oxford University, Bellerin once echoed what Parlour is now saying.
A week before the FA Cup Final Arsene Wenger warned he wouldn’t “forget” his treatment from certain fans, as BBC showed Youtubers who grew a following by verbally abusing the greatest manager in our history.
There’s long been the rumour that Arsenal distanced themselves from the platform by legally forcing them to change their original name from ‘Arsenal Fan TV’.
Arsenal have on occasion released statements reminding the public AFTV do not reflect their views. Years ago Robbie was so offended by Gary Neville’s criticism he invited the pundit to a debate, When Neville showed up all the talking heads shrunk.
Former players, current ones, those on TV, previous Chairmen, a manager, etc ….., Robbie has had exception to anyone who questions his business model. Which is ironic. He gets views by essentially critiquing another company, yet gets sensitive when exactly the same is done to him.
If you’re going to stand outside someone’s work place filming people shouting expletives, then you need to be able to handle an Arsenal legend politely pointing out that it’s helped made us a laughing stock in the Football community.
My own feelings are that I disagree with the notion that Robbie is not a genuine fan.
I question the knowledge of those who largely make up the channel (eg, they thought Tony Adams was part of the Invincibles?).
There’s nothing wrong with someone having a vision and fulfilling his ambition. That should be applauded. Yet he has to accept that the bigger his creation grows, the more there is a conflict of interest between being a fan and what videos make him the most money.
He equally can’t give air time to characters purposely being over the top, then wonder why some no longer see him as representation of our fan base.
I’m passionate about Arsenal. My best friend is obsessed with Liverpool. My brother constantly talks about Man United. My Dad has lived in Greece for 18 years yet still every weekend will follow the Cherries.
Yet none of us have ever responded to a defeat by using the C word or indeed any kind of swear word.
Come to think of it, I watch Redman TV, West Ham Fan TV, The Kick Off and United Stand, and they manage to preview and review going ons without being larger than life personalities who can have a debate without cursing.
His go-to defence is that other broadcasters are equally guilty of using negativity to garner ratings.
What he has to accept is that while he’s done an amazing job, Fan Channels will never be seen as competition by the sporting media because it’s a different genre entirely.
Sky, BT, Five Live, etc have standards and practices to adhere too. Imagine if Jamie Carragher swore live on TV. He wouldn’t appear again. Roy Keane and Souness are feisty but can have a debate without bad language (which all adults should be able to do).
Look how AFTV dealt with last season’s racial scandal. Ron Atkinson ruined his career by racially abusing Desailly. No one on ITV dared try to trivialise it, like Robbie did when under his watch Son was the victim of discrimination.
On one hand he wants to be compared to Sky Sports but when it’s convenient to him can we ignore racism because it’s his friend.
To suggest Parlour would have an agenda is arrogant. You’re not that special.
I even heard a suggestion that Stan Kroenke paid Parlour to try to divide the fanbase before the protest. That’s quite self-involved and arrogant. Our owner doesn’t watch Arsenal and couldn’t name 10 of our squad. So why would he be sat in America watching a Fan Channel?
He wouldn’t care.
I think Ray Parlour has enough money where he doesn’t need to use a YouTube Channel to stay relevant.
So if he’s saying he thinks you’re an embarrassment, it might be because he simply means it.
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