Pub landlady launches campaign to get ArsenalFanTV banned from stadium concourse
Fans who became internet stars say petition against channel is fuelled by 'jealousy'
27 October, 2017 — By Joe Cooper
Robbie Lyle gets the views of no nonsense Arsenal superfan DT
IT’S the football phenomenon which has turned some of Arsenal’s most devoted – and opinionated – supporters into internet stars, watched by millions every month.
Specialising in raw, uncensored opinions, ArsenalFan TV has become essential post-match viewing for many Gooners. But it emerged this week that a pub landlady with a bar just a few minutes’ walk from the club’s stadium in Ashburton Grove has called on the channel’s team of agitated pundits to be banned from the Emirates concourse.
Una Hoyle, of the Gunners pub, in Blackstock Road, has set up a petition calling on AFTV to stop “inciting disharmony among fans of all ages”. Signed by more than 500 people, the petition says locals are scared away from using the concourse on match days due to the “potential for trouble”. AFTV was set up by fan Robbie Lyle, a familiar presence outside the ground, in 2012.
It’s now a full-time job for him, with AFTV attracting 20 million views every month across its various online platforms. Regulars such as Ty, Claude and Bully dish out hot takes to Mr Lyle and his microphone – and, as cult figures among some of the home support, are known for not holding back with their colourful criticism of Arsene Wenger during the club’s high and lows of the past few seasons.
But not all fans think the channel’s stratospheric rise has been a good thing. One fan signing the petition said it made the club look “a laughing stock”, while another said: “AFTV is not indicative of most Arsenal fans. In fact, the focus of the footage is often biased towards the more theatrical, less articulate few in pursuit of internet traffic.”
The petition reads: “It is in no way representative of the majority of the Arsenal fanbase and aspires to cause friction and hatred among Arsenals fans.” It adds: “I am writing to the club to establish who funds the security of the said people and only ask, not that they stop – they have the right to an opinion – but that it moves for safety reason into somewhere more suitable as they did in their beginnings.”
Speaking to the Tribune, Mr Lyle said the complaints were motivated by “jealousy and envy”.
He added: “We used to do some filming at that pub but not anymore. I don’t agree with any of what they are saying. We go to various different locations around the ground. With 500 signatures I think that will just be their regulars. If you don’t like ArsenalFan TV, then you don’t have to watch. We’re a platform that gives the opportunity for any fan of the club to have their say. We have 20 million views each month across all our platforms.”
Mr Lyle added: “We conduct it peacefully and we’ve never had any complaints from the club about us filming. It can get heated, but if it does, we stop. “We have the same policy at every ground we go to – if we are asked to stop by security then we do. There have only been a couple of minor incidents.”