Club Loyalty as a Player

We often hear about fans getting angry or disappointed when x player leaves their club as fans perceive players should have some sort of club loyalty, especially those with a longer history at the club.

Now, of course, as a fan you are loyal to your club through thick and thin - although current Arsenal is reaallllyyyy testing that. But, as a player, coming to this club often from another club is it fair to ask the same?

We all know the examples of Fabregas. Of Robin van Persie. Of Ashley Cole. So many of us were hurt, mad about them leaving us for one of our rivals. But, truth be told, they made a choice as to what is best for themselves and their career and they went on to win the EPL with their new clubs. So, really, who can blame them?

As it turns out. They were right to leave this sinking ship when they did. Arsene Wenger has never had a real shout at the EPL anymore, with his stubbornness, unwillingness to change tactics and strategy. Only in recent seasons has he added top quality like Sanchez and Ozil and still he can’t really compete for the EPL.

We as fans have this club forever and ever. But, as a player, you only have x amount of years to reach the level and height you want to reach for. If the club you have been playing for lacks ambition and doesn’t show prospect, then I think it is only fair to give it a go somewhere else. And as a fan, taking my Arsenal goggles off, I can’t blame them.

Curious to hear people’s thoughts on this.

I only demand respect.
I had no problem with Nasri, Cesc and anyone else who left the club.
I will have no problem with Ox, Sanchez or anyone as long as they do not make a mockery of the whole thing and disrespect Arsenal.

I have a huge issue hence to what Persie did.
That statement still shocks me coming from a person whose leg we held together for years.
If he wanted to join United, that was fine by me but disrespecting the club like that was uncalled for.

Many have argued that the word used were not disrespectful but the intention clearly was.

Club loyalty means nothing. We unfairly treat players like Perez, That Japanese striker etc as well.
All we should demand from players is contribution while they are employed and be respectful.


I think players look after themselves first, which is only natural.
Like @Trion said, as long as they show respect for the supporters and the club then if they want to further their careers at a more ambitious club then that’s ok.

The thing I find hypocritical and embarrassing to watch is when players kiss the badge, at whatever club they’re at, and then do the same a few games later at a new club.

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But Van Persie was simply honest in his statement. I respect that.

I think RVP was hurt too, by Wenger’s inability at the time or simply unwillingness to show ambition. I do think RVP would have stayed on if he had some assurances regarding strengthening the squad and so forth.

Also, there were plenty of us mad at Cesc going to Chelsea or Nasri the sniveling rat going to City. Or Cashley? But what do all of them have in common? They won the EPL at their new clubs.


He can be honest with Wenger and club officials within closed doors. There was no reason to discuss publicly.

I have a problem with my boss, I ask him if we can go to conference room for a quick chat, I don’t engage in arguments in presence of other departments.


I, for one, found it refreshing.

Eh looking back on it, Persie was right. He’s still a prick mind. Don’t ask me to explain that logic, there is none. I’m an Arsenal fan after all.

I think you’re assuming Wenger was telling the truth.

From what I’ve read and heard in interviews, Wenger had made certain assurances to our best players about buying more top quality players and that’s why Cesc, RVP, Nasri, etc, and now Sanchez, Ozil, Mustafi, Chamberlain, etc, want to leave because Wenger had lied to them about transfers and his ambitions didn’t match theirs.

If you look at every top player that’s left and what they have won, they have all achieved far greater success, and always in their first season at their new club, than they ever would have under a manager who’s only ambition is to do the bare minimum in the transfer market.

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Generally speaking loyalty to a club is a stupid concept and I don’t know why fans or pundits or ex players (hypocrites) demand it so much.

We live in an age where clubs buy players as investments and to immediately loan out, have never been so trigger happy on squad changes with unprecedented managerial changes and then on the same token complain about player loyalty.

It’s stupid.


In some way I think loyalty is something we won’t see much of in the coming years. The difference is all the money involved. Back 30 years and the wages, signing on fees, agent fees etc weren’t that high compared with today. Wages, bonuses for trophies, eager to become a footballing legend and trademark are important for many players today. The player is bigger than the club. At least many of them seem to think so.
If you want loyalty you’ll find that in the lower leagues, where money isnt as big of a factor.

You’re right of course.

But it makes being a fan a bit of a foolish enterprise. Watch football for the love of the game, and the skill etc. but to invest emotional energy into any notion of team is more and more a waste of time. For this reason I’m beginning to slip out of my love for football again, and will probably stop watching it altogether before too long.

Long gone are the days when a fine player might be expected to stay at your club for the duration of his career, because he is from the area etc. Perhaps it was never loyalty per se that kept a player at one club for life, other factors no doubt made it that way, but at least from a fans perspective their was something tangible to get behind.

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The concept isn’t worth the time of day. It’s all about what a player thinks is right for them and few will ever think like Francesco Totti. If the player and the club can’t offer each other what they want there is zero shame in moving away from that connection. Satisfaction is often confused for loyalty.