Arsenal were sold a bag of magic beans but there’s no beanstalk in sight for KSE

Integrity doesn’t have a price.

It can’t be bought or traded, it can’t be faked or finessed. It takes time to earn it – years in fact – and a track record of honourable, principled behaviour in order to keep it. It is simultaneously a source of great pride and a mark of distinction.

It is utterly intangible, it can’t be placed on a mantel or hung on the wall, and yet it is more coveted than anything you can touch, see, or hold.

And yet, given all that, Arsenal still sacrificed theirs for a dream and a dollar.

It is Jack and the Beanstalk brought to life; the priceless Arsenal cow long nurtured traded for the magic beans of the European Super League. At least Jack ended up with a beanstalk and an adventure.

With the dust settling on Arsenal’s Super League debacle, all we are left with is our shredded credibility and a reputation irretrievably tarnished. Arsenal, long a symbol of class, brought low by the avarice and arrogance of those who know nothing of our history.

All the club can do now is limp on, browbeaten and shamed, into the summer, salvaging what we can from this disaster of a season. We are now the elephant in the room, in every room.

It’s pointless trying to kid ourselves any longer. Stan Kroenke, KSE and the board have been a disaster for this club. They have presided over an era of rapid decline that shows little sign of easing under their stewardship and in answer to which they have no solution or strategy other than to gamble it all on a pipe dream, scamming the system in favour of better management.

Apology or otherwise, there is no way back for the Kroenkes. The damage rendered after efforts to build bridges is beyond repair. Their intentions have been laid bare and their indifference exposed. It would be best for all parties if they sold up and moved on, that way at least we may be able to salvage what remains of our collective soul.

And while that remains unlikely, I admit, it doesn’t make it any less true. A line has been crossed for the majority of fans and their feelings will be made known, both this Friday and, I expect, long into the future. The owners can’t be allowed to forget the day they dragged us all through the mud.

‘Take care of the values of the club’, Arsene Wenger famously said in his valedictory address to fans. How right he was. We must hold to those words now because integrity doesn’t have a price.

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