Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Thursday that club owner Stan Kroenke apologized to him over the club's participation in the Super League.
The Gunners were one of 12 clubs announced as "Founding Members" on Sunday, but joined the other members of England's "Big Six" (Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur) in departing the upstart league by Tuesday evening.
"[The owners] have the maximum responsibility to run the football club and what they said was: 'apologies for disturbing the team, we did it without the capacity to communicate in a different way earlier and pass on my message to the players' - that is all you can ask for," Arteta said at his press conference ahead of the Gunners' Friday visit from Everton.
The Spaniard says he was only made aware of the club's plans just prior to the news of the formation becoming public.
"I found out just a little bit before the news was leaked," Arteta said. "And then everything was completely out of control and the world reacted in a really unified manner. There was not really time to think about it, reflect and evaluate or anything because by the time that was out, a big tsunami already came on to it and basically killed it. [Club CEO] Vinai [Venkatesham] spoke to me and explained a little bit what was happening. He was very clear and transparent with me. I understand the reasons why we could not know. We were not involved in the decision."
Arteta believes the swift and universal condemnation of the plans from supporters shows how the game belongs to fans just as much it does to anybody else.
"I think this has given big lessons and it shows the importance of football in the world," Arteta said. "And it shows that the soul of this sport belongs to the fans - and that's it. During this pandemic, for a year, we have been trying to sustain this industry with no fans in the stadium. But, when the fans have to come out to talk, they've done it really loud and clear, and they sent probably the strongest message that has ever been sent in the football world. And every club, leaving their interests apart, has done the right thing - which is, they are the ones [the fans], we have to listen to them, we put it aside and in 24 hours we kill the project. So that is a massive statement for the history of football."
Arsenal sits ninth in the table on 46 points, three points behind the Toffees and nine adrift of Chelsea for the final Champions League spot.
Following their match with Everton at the Emirates, the Gunners will travel to Spain to take on Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.