Ray Parlour and AFTV channel chief Robbie Lyle row live on the radio

‘You’re chatting absolute rubbish… you’re so out of touch’: Arsenal legend Ray Parlour and YouTube Fan TV channel chief Robbie Lyle get into a bitter row over whether ranting fans want them to LOSE!

  • Ray Parlour has accused AFTV of wanting Arsenal to lose to generate more hits 
  • AFTV, the popular channel, was created in 2012 and has 1.3million subscribers 
  • Lyle fired back at Arsenal legend Parlour by labelling him ‘out of touch’ live on air 
  • AFTV’s Lyle was invited on to talkSPORT to discuss the fallout around Arsenal  

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour and AFTV’s Robbie Lyle were embroiled in a heated war of words live on talkSPORT on Friday – with the controversial fan channel sensationally accused of wanting the club to lose in order to get more hits.

Lyle, an ever-present face on YouTube, had been invited on to the breakfast show to share his opinions on the state of Arsenal in the wake of the European Super League collapsing, but was quickly dragged into an argument.

AFTV have proved a divisive platform over the last few seasons as a result of their passionate reactions to performances and Parlour, one of the Arsenal Invincibles, didn’t hold back with his own criticism.

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour and AFTV’s Robbie Lyle argued about the channel live on the radio

‘I look at AFTV and say sometimes you’re quite an embarrassment to look at,’ Parlour said. ‘As an Arsenal fan, I want to win every single game. I think sometimes you look at it and say, “well if they lose, we’ll get more hits this week, we’ll make more money.”‘

However, Lyle, the founder of AFTV, vehemently defended the channel and turned his attentions back to the running of the club. 

‘Ray, with all due respect, you’re chatting rubbish,’ Lyle said. ‘I want my team to win absolutely every game. 

‘I know you’re very close to the club, and maybe you might find it difficult to speak out on this situation, but I’m saying to you that this is beyond performances on the pitch right now. 

Parlour questioned whether AFTV want Arsenal to lose in order to generate more YouTube hits

‘We’re talking about an owner who doesn’t care. I care about my club. I’ve supported this club since the 80s. But I don’t think these owners are suitable to run this club, simple as that.’  

Despite Lyle turning the debate towards owner Stan Kroenke and his shattered reputation after the Super League fiasco, Parlour continued to take aim at AFTV and mocked their ‘meltdowns’ after defeats.

Lyle then fired back at the Arsenal great, saying: ‘Have you seen them when we win? What is this? You’re so out of touch, Ray. You’re so out of touch it’s unbelievable. 

‘I respect you. 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, this is bigger than wins or losses.’ 

Lyle (pictured) created the platform in 2012 and has accused Parlour of being ‘touch of touch’

Despite having interviewed the likes of Ian Wright, Olivier Giroud, Thierry Henry and even Parlour himself, AFTV have struggled to shake off the reputation they have gained in some corners.

Parlour, who has appeared as a guest alongside Lyle on three occasions, labelled the channel ‘a bit of a laughing stock’.  

He added: ‘I think people look at it and they crack up when they see you going mad outside the stadium. I’m so pleased you’re doing really well and it’s all great, don’t get me wrong. Because it’s all about business, it’s all about making money.’

A clearly irked Lyle then opted to lash out by comparing Parlour to unpopular club chief Kroenke. 

An ever-present face on YouTube, Lyle is pictured with a supporter outside Wembley in 2017

Rio Ferdinand was tuned into the show as Parlour and Lyle bickered.

‘Just heard @RealRomfordPele & @ItsDonRobbie… don’t really agree with Ray on this… ALL media have had more hits… @btsport @SkySports @talkSPORT included.’ former Manchester United stalwart Ferdinand wrote on Twitter.

‘Club fan media etc is NEW media – embrace it – it’s here to stay!’ 

A number of other listeners also took to social media after the argument. 

‘Ray Parlour came across terribly in that interview with Robbie from AFTV on talksport this morning,’ one user said. 

Rio Ferdinand disagreed with Parlour’s views and believes fan media channels are here to stay

Another wrote: ‘Ray Parlour not covering himself in glory here, argument totally incoherent.’

A third believes that the row was a battering in favour of Lyle, and added: ‘Talksport presenter complaining about someone chasing clicks! Parlour has nothing to say about Kroenke damaging the club.’

‘I respect Ray Parlour,’ said a fourth. ‘What he said on TalkSport was just really off the mark. Right now, this is about the fans getting their voices heard. 

‘I want Arsenal to be successful but getting at Robbie and AFTV doesn’t help. We need to be focused on the main narrative. #KroenkeOut.’ 

AFTV boast over 1.3million subscribers on YouTube and, since its creation in 2012, have generated over a billion views. 

Its foundation came during a testing period for the club, with supporters angry at the stagnation on the field, and the channel rapidly became a popular outlet for the fanbase to air their strong opinions after matches.

In August 2018, however, AFTV were forced to change their name from ArsenalFanTV to their current moniker following discussions with the club. 

The north London outfit are thought to have been concerned about their reputation taking a hit because of AFTV.

THE FULL AFTV ARGUMENT

Parlour: 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 your YouTube channel? Because, what it is, all the other fans want to see Arsenal fans having a meltdown when we lose a game. I look at Arsenal Fan TV and say sometimes you’re quite an embarrassment to look at it. As an Arsenal fan I want them to win every game, 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’.

Lyle: 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. But I’m saying to you that this is beyond performances on the pitch right now, we’re talking about an owner who doesn’t care. We’re talking about an owner who doesn’t care, I care about this club, I’ve supported this club since the 80s. I don’t think these owners are suitable to run this club. Simple as that.

Parlour: Yeah but it’s hard to get rid of owners. Manchester United are in the same situation, sometimes you’ve got to just hope they can put the money in because owners don’t walk away for the sake of it.

Lyle: But Ray, do you trust these owners?

Parlour: Well, at the moment no because they shouldn’t have ever done what they did and they have apologised. 

Parlour: Honest question, did you get more hits this week because Arsenal are having a nightmare?

Lyle: This week… of course. Have talkSPORT had a lot more hits? You’re asking some ridiculous questions, Ray. Are talkSPORT, are Sky and all these channels going to get more hits because what has gone on with the Super League? It’s a big talking point.

Parlour: I bet you more Tottenham fans follow you than Arsenal fans. 

Lyle: Oh, you’re talking absolute rubbish, Ray. 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. This is to do with the guys who do the Man United channels, they love the clubs, they go to watch them week in, week out with their own money.

Parlour: Oh come on Robbie, you like it when they lose as well. I’ve seen your videos when you lose and everyone’s having a meltdown. 

Lyle: 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, this is bigger than 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: I know, I totally agree with that and it’ll take a long time to get trust back with the owners, if it does [ever] get back I don’t know. 

Lyle: What would you like them to do?

Parlour: Well first thing they can do is give a little bit of discount on season tickets and say, ‘sorry, we’ve made a bit of a mistake’. But we’ve still get behind the team.

Lyle: We are behind the team, 100 per cent. I go to every single game. I was there in Baku, UEFA, don’t take them out of this, they made us play a final in Baku, I was there. I’ve been to every single game, I’ve been to Ukraine, I follow this club everywhere. But right now this is bigger than what’s on the pitch, we’re talking about an ownership that doesn’t care. 

Parlour: I totally agree but I think we’re a bit of a laughing stock with your channel. I think people look at it and crack up when they see you going mad outside the stadium or whatever. Robbie, I’m so pleased you’re doing well, and it’s all great, don’t get me wrong, it’s all about business and all about making money, and good luck to you.

Lyle: You sound like Stan Kroenke… ‘it’s all about business and making money’.    

Parlour: Well you’re making a few quid out of it by having a meltdown. I’m not Stan Kroenke, I want the best for Arsenal Football Club. 

Lyle: I think I want the best for Arsenal Football Club at all times. I think you’re there protecting your job at Arsenal.

Parlour: What job? Let’s get this straight, I haven’t got a job at Arsenal, Robbie. 

Lyle: We can agree to disagree but all I want is good ownership of Arsenal Football Club. This is a great football club with great history. It doesn’t matter if you agree with me or not, but the owners have let the fans down. 




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