Why did AFTV and Ray Parlour clash? Arsenal legend argues with Robbie Lyle

Sam Preston April 23, 2021

AFTV has become an inescapable part of the landscape around Arsenal in recent years. But why did AFTV and Ray Parlour clash? Let’s find out.

The Wenger Out versus Wenger In debate played out on YouTube channel AFTV, formerly called Arsenal Fan TV, more passionately than anywhere in the traditional media.

Now, talkSPORT pundit and Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has gone head-to-head with AFTV host Robbie Lyle over some of the content posted on the channel.

So what did AFTV and Ray Parlour clash about?

Take a look here. As the talkSPORT post says: “You simply have to watch this”…

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What was said?

Parlour said: “AFTV wants Arsenal to lose because you (Lyle) get more hits on your YouTube channel. All the other fans (of other clubs) want to see Arsenal fans having a meltdown when we lose a game.

“I look at AFTV and say ‘sometimes you’re quite an embarrassment’. As an Arsenal fan I want them to win every game.

“I think sometimes you look at it and think: ‘If we lose we’re going to get more hits this week and make more money.’”

Lyle responded: “Ray, with all due respect you’re talking rubbish. I want my team to win absolutely every game and I know you’re very close to the club and maybe you find it very difficult to speak out on this situation (about the ownership).

“This is beyond performances on the pitch right now, we’re talking about an owner who doesn’t care. I care about this club. I’ve supported this club since the 80s. I don’t think these owners are suitable to run this club.”

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Who is Robbie Lyle?

Robbie Lyle, aka Don Robbie, is the founder and host of AFTV. He and various other Arsenal fans were vocal during the Wenger In or Wenger Out debate.

Recently he has been calling for peaceful protests about Arsenal’s ownership in the wake of the European Super League scandal:

Arsenal need unity

As you can see, Arsenal’s fanbase has been split for too long.

It was Wenger Out or Wenger In, and now the same debate is being had over Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal are ninth in the Premier League. Does Arteta need more time or is it a sign of how standards have slipped that a mid-table league finish would pass by without the manager paying with his job?

That debate is secondary to the bigger issue raised by the collapse of the European Super League this week.

Lyle feels the current owners aren’t fit for purpose and don’t have the club’s interests at heart.

If Arsenal supporters want to enact change, they will have to unite. Divide and conquer is an incredibly effective way for those in power at football clubs to keep fan pressure away from their door.

Does Parlour have a point?

There’s a legitimate debate to be had over whether fan media that exacerbates division among supporters, especially in the wake of defeats, are a good or bad thing.

But bringing the point up at a time when fans need to be united and heard is incredibly poor timing.

It only serves to obscure and suppress concerns fans currently have about the future of their club.

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Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.