Arsenal Fan TV (or AFTV, as it’s known these days) is one of the most successful YouTube fan channels ever created.
The likes of Troopz, DT and Ty have become YouTube celebrities in recent years thanks to their rants about the Gunners. AFTV currently have 1.3 million subscribers at the time of writing.
The channel’s founder, Robbie Lyle, was involved in a heated clash with Ray Parlour live on talkSPORT on Friday morning.
Parlour, who made 466 appearances for the Gunners between 1992-2004, accused Robbie of wanting Arsenal to lose football matches in order to boost the numbers of views on their YouTube videos.
This is an accusation that Robbie strenuously denied live on air.
“I want rid of the owners,” the AFTV founder said on talkSPORT.
“For me it goes deeper than just a season on the pitch, it’s the way they look after the club. I don’t trust them anymore. Now the trust is completely gone, I just don’t trust them with the future of Arsenal football club. This is beyond our performances on the pitch.
“His only ambition is to make money. For years and years we saw that their only aim was to get into the top four, because the Champions League gets them money. They have never had any ambition to win things.”
Parlour then asked: “Robbie what’s your reaction when certain fans say – and I’m probably one of them – that Arsenal Fan TV wants Arsenal to lose because you get more hits on YouTube?
“Because, what it is, all the rival fans want to see Arsenal fans having a meltdown after we lose a game… sometimes it’s a bit of an embarrassment to look at it.
“As an Arsenal fan I want them to win every game, but 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’!”
Robbie fired back: “What’s this got to do what we’re talking about? 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…”
Parlour responded: “Honest question Robbie. Did you get more hits this week because Arsenal are having a nightmare?”
Robbie: “Have talkSPORT had a lot more hits? You’re asking some ridiculous questions, Ray!
“Are talkSPORT, are Sky Sports and all these broadcasters going to get more hits because what has gone on with the Super League? It’s a good talking point!”
Parlour: “But most of your followers are from other teams. I bet you have more followers who are Tottenham fans than Arsenal fans…”
Robbie: “Oh, you’re talking absolute rubbish, Ray.
“This is the problem, you’re trying to protect your job at Arsenal instead of talking about a very serious thing, the owners of our clubs and various other clubs trying to sell out a history, the fans and even the players of these clubs. And you’re asking me about hits? It’s nothing to do with hits, this is about Arsenal Football Club, a club that I love…”
Parlour: “Oh come on Robbie, you love it when they lose as well. I’ve seen your videos when you lose and everyone’s having a meltdown…”
Robbie: “Have you seen it when we win? What is this?! I’m sorry, but you’re so out of touch, Ray. You’re so out of touch is unbelievable.
“I respect you as a player, you were a great, great player for Arsenal but listen, you need to understand this is bigger than hits, wins or losses, this is about our football club that is being ruined by the owners who don’t care and this week they proved that.”
Parlour: “We’re a bit of a laughing stock because of your channel. People crack up when they see you all going mad.
“Robbie, I’m so pleased you’re doing well, don’t get me wrong, it’s all about business and all about making money, and good luck to you.”
Robbie: “You sound like Stan Kroenke – ‘it’s all about business and making money’.”
Video: Ray Parlour vs Robbie Lyle
Watch the heated debate in full here…
Parlour isn’t the first person to accuse AFTV of capitalising on Arsenal defeats, and he certainly won’t be the last.
However, former Manchester United and England defender leapt to Robbie’s defence, tweeting: "Just heard @RealRomfordPele & @ItsDonRobbie .... don’t really agree with Ray on this.... ALL media have had more ‘hits’...@btsport @SkySports @talkSPORT included. Club fan media etc is NEW media - embrace it - it’s here to stay!”
Let’s check out some other reaction from Twitter…
(Credit: The Football Terrace)