Is This the End of ArsenalFanTV?

Arsene Wenger's departure signals the end for Robbie, Ty and Claude.

April 20th 2018

So here we are. One of the game’s most iconic figures is finally leaving the club he totally revolutionised. Wenger is finally out.

But despite the new beginnings that will be ushered in at the Emirates with Arsene Wenger no longer at the helm, it could spell the end to another notable slice of life in North London: ArsenalFanTV.

Many of the “Wenger Out” brigade have only known one constant during their lifetime as Arsenal Fans: Arsene Wenger. He not only represented a father figure for many of them, through the good times and bad, but also represented the last remaining long-standing relationship in the beautiful game. That relationship has obviously turned sour in recent years. Performances have dipped to such lows, that the one-time “Invincibles” became cocooned in a prolonged ‘banter era’. And no-one has underpinned that era more than the lads over at ArsenalFanTV.

Having built their name on the premise of #WengerOut, the cast of characters – whose defining collective characteristic was to get Wenger out – have now achieved their goal. We’ve just reached their season finale.

Many of them have already recorded videos claiming the announcement as a personal victory. DT’s voice was trembling with excitement; his face unable to hide cat-like grin. Lee Gunner’s “smile is not going anywhere sometime soon” and he doesn’t give a shit about sentiment, while Claude has been on Sky Sports News hailing it as a “great day”. It’s not only disrespectful to the greatest manager their club have ever had, but just as cringe-inducing to watch as the antics of the infamous Arsenal Away Boyz.

Claude has arguably been at the pinnacle of the Wenger Out movement since ArsenalFanTV began. Having long pioneered for Wenger’s dismissal on AFTV, he now finds himself waking up to Wexit in the same way Nigel Farage did after Brexit – he no longer has a purpose.

Real fans and general internet-dwellers probably first fell in love with the channel seeing the ridiculous scenes of Claude purple-faced, screaming at Ty, who was clad head-to-toe in every available item from the Arsenal club shop.

But now that Wenger’s gone, there’s no one for Ty to back to the point of insanity any more, and no one for Claude to billow “IT’S TIME TO GO” at ad infinitum. Now that Claude has got exactly what he wants – and the show’s overarching narrative has reached its climax – are the rival fans and people in search for a laugh going to tune into AFTV any more?

The short answer will probably, and simply, just be no. Remember Manchester United fan Andy Tate? He’s now nowhere to be seen, despite being one of the most notable fan figures in recent times. People simply “don’t care” about Full Time Devils like they did during the Moyes era. United fans are mostly happy and as a result, fans from other clubs have stopped gawking at them from afar.

These fan shows trade on hate, mockery and fan campaigns. Each upload to AFTV is pretty much a party political broadcast from either the #WengerOut or #WengerIn party.

The backlash to ArsenalFanTV – and other talking head fan channels – has been bubbling for a while. And with AFTV founder Robbie Lyle starting his very own show on Channel 4 as recently as this week, maybe even he’s making himself futureproof. We could well be seeing not just the end of Arsene Wenger, but also ArsenalFanTV as we know it.