AFTV (formerly known as ArsenalFanTV) is a football fan YouTube channel and website directed at Arsenal supporters. Based in England, the channel started in 2012. The channel includes fan interviews, previews and reviews of Arsenal players. We have interviewed past and current players including Olivier Giroud, Ian Wright and Thierry Henry.
The account was created on YouTube in October 2012, and was founded by former BBC reggae radio host Robbie Lyle. Robbie Lyle had worked as a surveyor before quitting his job to work on ArsenalFanTV full-time. He created the channel with Tao Weitzer who films and edit’s the channels videos and is known as (The Cameraman) he has also quit his job to pursue a career on YouTube and now manages the AFTV media team.
Their first fan interviews were after Arsenal’s 5–2 win against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur. When asked by Vice on why he created the channel Lyle said “we’ve all had enough of the so-called pundits, most of whom aren’t even at the games. So I started my own channel to hear from the real fans, with real opinions. That was my aim with the site”. AFTV pioneered the concept of supporters led TV or “Fan TV” which has led to other club supporters creating similar channels on YouTube.
Since its creation, the channel has continued to provide viewers with fan interviews and content about Arsenal on social media. But its rise in the YouTube community occurred as a result of many viral videos it has posted from fan interviews. The channel has posted interviews of many angry rants from Arsenal supporters directed at the club’s ownership. Many of these fan interviews include Chris Hudson’s rant after the loss to Aston Villa in 2013 and Troopz in 2017 following Arsenal’s 5–1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. This has led to increased views and popularity for the channel. They have also included a weekly podcast called ‘All Guns Blazing’ which features Robbie Lyle and Mr DT.
The rise of the channel has been helped by viral videos it has posted from fan interviews, with fans venting their frustration at the club following defeats. Much of the anger from supporters on the channel was directed towards former manager Arsène Wenger, who many believed should have resigned following his long tenure at the London-based club, especially during the 2016–17 season where there was a divide among Arsenal fans, with a minority being ‘Wenger In’ and a majority being ‘Wenger Out’. There has also been criticism towards major shareholder Stan Kroenke who many Arsenal fans believe he should sell his shares to the next major shareholder Alisher Usmanov, following claims of his lack of desire towards the club, and comments made by Kroenke himself stating that he “didn’t buy Arsenal stakes to win trophies”. This was referenced on BT Sport by the former England international Rio Ferdinand when he mentioned the frustration of Arsenal supporters with Wenger on AFTV in 2016. AFTV have since created another channel “AFTV Young Gunz” aimed at younger Arsenal fans and created their own football team “AFTV FC” composed of viewers and regulars on the channel.
Although the channel interviews a variety of Arsenal supporters after every game, there are a few supporters who are regularly interviewed by Robbie Lyle and are well known by many of the channel’s viewers. These include:
- Robbie Lyle: The main interviewer and “host” of the channel.
- Claude: an outspoken critic of Arsène Wenger. He is famous for his saying “it’s time to go” with regard to Arsène Wenger.
- Ty: he, unlike Claude, is seen as very optimistic and is well known for his support of Wenger. Ty constantly defended Wenger during his tenure as manager despite facing growing opposition from supporters. Ty has often made excuses for his teams bad performance, including blaming the rain after a loss to Watford.
- “DT”: a vocal critic of Wenger, DT is also known for his angry rants whenever Arsenal lose and has been responsible for putting many ‘Wenger Out’ banners at Arsenal matches. He has his own channel with over 203,000 subscribers. DT has his own football team called DT FC, in which he frequently rants towards referees.
- “Troopz”: another vocal critic of Wenger, Troopz is known for his use of multicultural London English words such as ‘blud’ and ‘fam’. He has his own YouTube channel with over 108,000 subscribers. Despite Troopz being an Arsenal fan, his family supports rival club Tottenham Hotspur.
- Moh Haider: is an Arsenal supporter who appears regularly on AFTV and is known for mentioning Arsenal’s net spend in comparison with other clubs whether positively or negatively.
- Dr. Kelechi Anyikude: Originally from Nigeria, Kelechi is well known for singing at the start of his interviews.
- Lee Judges: A lifelong Arsenal supporter, Lee has given several passionate rants about the demise of Arsenal under Wenger. Judges also present a regular segment on the channel entitled The Judge where he answers questions sent in by the fans in the style of a judge.
- Turkish: A passionate Arsenal supporter and YouTube personality who regularly speaks on the impact players have on the overall club in his show – The Supporters Club on the Arsenal Fan TV channel on YouTube.