Arsenal firing 55 staff when we're owned by a multi-billionaire, have just made £££ by winning the FA Cup & qualifying for Europe, & pay Mesut Ozil £350k-a-week to sit on his arse, is morally indefensible & not what I expect from a club with our heritage. Shameful decision. pic.twitter.com/ml3ixSyq97
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 6, 2020
On one hand, the chutzpah of Morgan calling anyone else “morally indefensible” is staggering. But we live in perverse times, and in his defence, Morgan has been kicking the Tory government all over the park for its pandemic handling, and fighting the NHS’s corner relentlessly. It’s as if he experienced a Scrooge-like epiphany, but in reality I think he was just terrified of catching the virus.
On the other, Morgan is spot on. No matter what wages these staff are on, the bottom line is simple: Arsenal is owned by one of the richest people on the planet. These sackings are needless.
A man in a grotesque Stan Kroenke mask. Or it might be the actual Kroenke. We’re not sure.
Now lots of people have been laying the boot into Mesut Ozil, as Morgan sort of does here, but this has nothing to do with Ozil and Morgan should not have mentioned him. Ozil is a very convenient scapegoat because he’s an outcast on silly money, but Arsenal chose to pay him that, just as they chose to bench him. He is blameless, regardless of his attitude in training. This is all on Arsenal and Kroenke.
Given the wildfire nature of social media, I would expect Arsenal to do a swift U-turn here. Especially as it’s been reported that players are unhappy with the news. Remember how quickly Liverpool and Spurs reversed their decisions to furlough staff a few months ago. But still, you wonder how Arsenal thought this news would play out, coming mere days after winning the FA Cup. Was there no one at the club who intervened and said: “Hang on Stan, don’t you think we can work something out here? Firing 55 people is not a good look for the 11th-richest club in the world.”
There was someone at the club who would have done exactly that, a certain Frenchman, but he left in 2018.