Arsenal Fans Launch Breakaway Club After Growing Disillusioned With Team Direction

​A group of Arsenal supporters are launching a new football club known as Dial Square FC having grown dissatisfied with the current direction of the north London club.

Formed in January, they aim to participate in next season’s Combined Counties Football League - the ninth tier of English football - which was the same division AFC Wimbledon joined when they broke away from Wimbledon FC, who relocated to Milton Keynes and later became MK Dons.

Many of ​Arsenal's fanbase have become disconnected to their side under the ownership of Stan Kroenke’s KSE, with the club falling further away from the upper echelons of the ​Premier League and currently embarking on their worst start to top flight season for over 40 years.

The new club have been named in reference to Arsenal's heritage - they were founded in 1886 and competed as Dial Square until 1893, when they were renamed Woolwich Arsenal.

Lifelong fan Stuart Morgan has started the initiative and has been one of the leading campaigners against Kroenke and the current direction of the club, in particular the American's apparent lack of interest in the Gunners.

“There’s been a steady disconnect for a lot of fans," he told ​The Athletic. "It stems from a range of things — from when football went all-ticket and all-seater, to the change of our badge, to moving from Highbury, to higher ticket prices, and to games being constantly moved for TV."


"For many fans, having a majority shareholder (now owner) who is rarely in the country let alone at games, and who has never really engaged with fans, was the final straw.”

Supporters' groups at Arsenal have attempted to improve matters at the club - including last summer's #WeCareDoYou movement on social media - but Morgan cites a disconnection and alienation from the club as a whole as the main reasons for starting Dial Square FC.

“The club has lost its identity in so many different ways,” he added. “This Arsenal team — the club, the set-up, the stadium — is nothing like it was in its heyday. It’s so commercialised… I sit in club level. It’s soulless, it’s lifeless… it’s not Arsenal Football Club. The reason I wanted to do this project is to go back to beginning, to try and get back to that original Arsenal."

For their first season, Dial Square have reached an agreement with Abbey Rangers Football Club - based in Addlestone, Surrey - to share their ground as they look for a permanent home. The club will play in a burgundy shirt with white shorts, and burgundy and midnight blue socks, with Morgan adding their aims are to secure 'at least' three promotions over the next five to seven years.

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Source : 90min